Postcolonial Encounters in the Maghreb. Transgressing International Relations Thesis uri icon

  • Overview


  • This dissertation examines the production of the "native" in literary and photographic narratives in the Franco-Maghrebian postcolonial context. More specifically, I selected a group of a few well-known Maghrebian intellectuals who write in French, who act as mediators of postcolonial difference between France and the Maghreb, while living between the "East" and the "West." In my dissertation fieldwork, I looked at the politics involved in the production of "home", "exile", and of "the native" within literary and photographic engagements of these North African diasporic intellectuals.

    Here, I argue that a reading of literary texts offers an alternative understanding of the International Relations of migration and of linkages between postcolonies and postmetropoles. Such an examination involves exploring unexpected claims to a 'native' status that brings about a re-thinking of disciplinary boundaries; an incursion into practices of spectrality in visual and literary narratives, whereby the postcolonial diasporic intellectual is engaged in the practice of collecting 'endangered authenticities.' Moreover, an alternative understanding of IR can also be perceived from the politics of language and hybridity, which arise for Maghrebian intellectuals living and writing about "home", and deciding upon audiences in their writings. Out of this politics emerge the categories of the immigré(e) and exilé(e) that reflect a lived experience of international relations, and an absence of relations that adds to our understanding.

    The importance of this insight becomes clear when we confront a contemporary IR of migration written from a more mainstream perspective. Its ahistorical presentation and state-centrism are blind to the continuities of imperialism, where the postcolony is as much within the lived space of the postmetropole as it is outside. Thus I attempt to amplify this understanding of the IR of migration and imperialism through recourse to literary and visual narratives of Franco-Maghrebian intellectuals.