Writing the Black Decade Published

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Writing the Black Decade: Conflict and Criticism in Francophone Algerian Literature by Joseph Ford has just been published in Lexington Books' series After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France (Rowman & Littlefield).

The volume examines how literature – and the way we read, classify, and critique literature – impacts our understanding of the world at a time of conflict. Using the bitterly contested Algerian Civil War as a case study, Ford argues that, while literature is frequently understood as an illuminating and emancipatory tool, it can, in fact, restrain our understanding of the world during a time of crisis and further entrench the polarized discourses that lead to conflict in the first place. The author demonstrates how Francophone Algerian literature, along with the cultural and academic criticism that has surrounded it, has mobilized visions of Algeria over the past 30 years that often belie the complex and multi-layered realities of power, resistance, and conflict in the region.

The author is Lecturer in French Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory at the Institute of Modern Languages, University of London. He is joint General Editor of the Journal of Romance Studies, and convenor of the Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translation (co-convened with the London Intercollegiate Network of Comparative Studies (LINKS).


This study makes a highly significant intervention at once into the study of Algerian literature and into debates on the politics of literary criticism. (Jane Hiddleston, University of Oxford)

Ford makes a fresh contribution to an important debate and his book will be a key reference for scholars working on Francophone Algerian literature since 1988. (Patrick Crowley, University College Cork)

ISBN 978-1-4985-8186-8 [Hb] | 178 pp | January 2021
ISBN 978-1-4985-8187-5 [eBook] | January 2021