Contesting the Classroom

BookContesting the Classroom

Contesting the Classroom

Reimagining Education in Moroccan and Algerian Literatures

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 70


November 5th, 2019

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Contesting the Classroom is the first scholarly work to analyze both how Algerian and Moroccan novels depict the postcolonial classroom, and how postcolonial literatures are taught in Morocco and Algeria. Drawing on a corpus of contemporary novels in French and Arabic, it shows that authors imagined the fictional classroom as a pluralistic and inclusive space, often at odds with the narrow nationalist vision of postcolonial identity. Yet when authors wrote about the school, they also had to consider whether their work would be taught in schools. As this book’s original research on the teaching of literature shows, Moroccan and Algerian schools have largely failed to promote the works of local authors in public school curricula. This situation has dramatically altered literary portraits of education: novels marginalized in the public education system must creatively reimagine what pedagogy looks like and where it can take place. In illuminating a literary corpus neglected by political scientists and sociologists, Contesting the Classroom shows that novels about the school are an important source of counter-narrative about education and national identity. At the same time, by demonstrating how education has influenced writing styles, this work reframes the classroom as a necessary cultural context for scholars of postcolonial literature.

Author Information

Erin Twohig is an Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Georgetown University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
A Note on Translation10
1. Troubling Memories of Colonialism36
2. Decolonizing the Classroom57
3. Education and Violence in the Black Decade81
4. Resistance in a Minority Language99
5. Satirizing Education in Crisis127
Works Cited179