Program in Comparative Literature

"Double, Triple Entrapment: The Harki Story" Prof. Vincent Crapanzano, Anthropology and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center

Mon, February 13, 2012 | Student Activity Center 2.120

12:00 PM

TODAY: Monday, February 13th, 2012
12:00 p.m./Noon

Student Activity Center 2.120

Prof. Vincent Crapanzano's research is concerned with the role of narrative and silence in the passage of a wound - a trauma - from generation to generation. Specifically, he looks at the way parental - in case in point, paternal - silence perpetuates the wound in children. Set stories, which inevitably lack particularity, seem incapable of "filling" that silence, fulfilling the children's quest to know. They subsume what particulars are known in a generalized narrative that, repeated over and over again, loses vitality. Frozen, it intensifies the wound.... Prof. Crapanzano discusses this dynamic in terms of the Harkis - those Algerians who fought alongside the French, as auxiliary troops, during Algeria's War of Independence. Between seventy and one hundred fifty thousand were slaughtered at the war's end by the Algerian population at large. Those who managed to escape to France were incarcerated in camps and forestry hamlets, some for over sixteen years.

Coordinated by the Center for European Studies as part of the EU Center for Excellence Lecture Series in Anthropology. Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Department of Anthropology. Additional support provided by the Program in Comparative Literature and the Department of French and Italian.

For more information: Dr. Sofian Merabet [].

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