Algeria: Nation, Culture and Transnationalism 1988–2015 offers new insights into contemporary Algeria. Drawing on a range of different approaches to the idea of Algeria and to its contemporary realities, the chapters in this volume serve to open up any discourse that would tie ‘Algeria’ to a fixed meaning or construct it in ways that neglect the weft and warp of everyday cultural production and political action. The configuration of these essays invites us to read contemporary cultural production in Algeria not as determined indices of a specific place and time (1988–2015) but as interrogations and explorations of that period and of the relationship between nation and culture. The intention of this volume is to offer historical moments, multiple contexts, hybrid forms, voices and experiences of the everyday that will prompt nuance in how we move between frames of enquiry. These chapters — written by specialists in Algerian history, politics, music, sport, youth cultures, literature, cultural associations and art — offer the granularity of microhistories, fieldwork interviews and studies of the marginal in order to break up a synthetic overview and offer keener insights into the ways in which the complexity of Algerian nation-building are culturally negotiated, public spaces are reclaimed, and Algeria reimagined through practices that draw upon the country’s past and its transnational present.
Reviews'This volume edited by Patrick Crowley looks at the current state of the country by drawing on cultural studies and historical analysis. It proposes a series of case studies on the representations of contemporary Algeria and their political meanings, with the objective of challenging any political discourse that homogenizes the idea of 'Algerianity.' From a pedagogical perspective, this is a useful resource to understand the role of dominant narratives and key historical references, as well as the formulation of alternative discourses. It is especially effective in challenging the twin narratives presenting a country plagues by 'violence' and 'culture wars.' Last but not least, the volume offers of collection of contribution that illuminates a wide range of issues such as the meanings associated to the memories of the 1970s, the artistic use of audiovidual documents to fight institutional amnesia, the appropriation of the arts of movements (parkour, street dance) by the Algerian youth or the political functions of sports and especially football. Therefore, the book edited by Crowley is a crucial resource to introduce students to the diversity of the country.'
Muriam Haleh Davis, and Thomas Serres, Jadaliyya
'Algeria: Nation, Culture and Transnationalism, 1988–2015 is a welcome effort to shed light on the current state of the country by drawing on historical analysis and cultural studies. Engaged in a decade-long effort to scrutinise the cultural dynamics that shaped colonial and postcolonial subjects, Patrick Crowley has focused on Algeria as a site for the production of exemplary imperialist and revolutionary discourses...
This is a rich and diverse book that brings together numerous inspiring contributions. It far surpasses its stated goal of complexifying our understanding of Algeria, offering insights for rethinking how Algeria has been framed by past and present researchers. Rather than being a merely useful work for specialists of the country and students interested in cultural studies, this volume makes interventions that are both necessary and profound given the current state of the field.'
The Journal of North African Studies
'[T]he diversity of themes and methodologies, and the focus on putting national dynamics, transnational processes and the everyday into dialogue, make this volume a critical text for anyone working on contemporary Algeria. Individual chapters will also be of interest to scholars working on music, postcolonial literature, political movements, discourses of identity, youth and relations between the cultural and the political.'
Camille Jacob, International Journal of Francophone Studies
‘Crowley’s Introduction effectively maps out why each of these frames is so useful to scholarship on contemporary Algeria...Another great strength of the collection is to give readers access to exciting work by promising young scholars…’
Todd Shephard, French Studies