Historicizing Colonial Nostalgia: European Women's Narratives of Algeria and Kenya 1900-Present

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

byPatricia M. E. Lorcin

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This illuminating study of European women's narratives in colonial Algeria and Kenya argues that nostalgia was not a post-colonial phenomenon but was embedded in the colonial period. Patricia M. E. Lorcin explores the distinction between imperial nostalgia, associated with the loss of power that results from the loss of empire, and colonial nostalgia, associated with loss of socio-cultural standing—in other words, loss of a certain way of life. This distinction helps to make women's discursive role an important factor in the creation of colonial nostalgia, due to their significant contribution to the establishment of a European colonial environment.

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This illuminating study of European women's narratives in colonial Algeria and Kenya argues that nostalgia was not a post-colonial phenomenon but was embedded in the colonial period. Patricia M. E. Lorcin explores the distinction between imperial nostalgia, associated with the loss of power that results from the loss of empire, and col...

Patricia M. E. Lorcin is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (1995), editor of Algeria and France 1800-2000: Identity, Memory, and Nostalgia (2006), and co-editor of several collections of essays including France and its Spa...

other books by Patricia M. E. Lorcin

French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histories
French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histo...

Kobo ebook|May 1 2016

$65.69 online$85.30list price(save 22%)
Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Race in Colonial Algeria, New Edition
Imperial Identities: Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Race ...

Paperback|Sep 1 2014

$39.50 online$44.95list price(save 12%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:330 pages, 9.67 × 5.99 × 0.93 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230338658

ISBN - 13:9780230338654

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Table of Contents

PART ONE: 1900-1930. COLONIAL WOMEN AND THEIR IMAGINED SELVES * Women and their Colonial Worlds * Nostalgia Personified: Isabelle Eberhardt and Karen Blixen * PART TWO: 1920-1940. POLITICAL REALITIES AND FICTIONAL REPRESENTATIONS * Reality Expressed; Reality Imagined: Colonial Women in Twenties Algeria and Kenya * Writing and Living the Exotic [The Twenties] * Women's Fictions of Colonial Realism [The Thirties] * PART THREE: IMPERIAL DECLINE AND THE REFORMULATION OF NOSTALGIA * Nationalist Anger; Colonial Illusions: Women's Responses to Decolonization * Happy Families, Red Strangers and "A Vanishing Africa": Nostalgia comes full circle

Editorial Reviews

"...this is a realistic, chilling book. Exotic and erotic narratives are juxtaposed with tales of violence, oppression, and death. The comfort is taken out of nostalgia, while at the same time aptly demonstrating the purpose that colonial nostalgia served. European women are critically and provocatively written into the story of colonialism. Through her deep and thoughtful use of sources, Lorcin is able to address important and difficult issues that cut to the heart of colonial history." - The American Historical Review "Anyone who believes that comparative studies generally fall prey either to superficiality or to comparison merely for its own sake should read Patricia Lorcin's new book. Historicizing Colonial Nostalgia: European Women's Narratives of Algeria and Kenya 1900-Present demonstrates how much the specialist, in one case, can learn from the unexpected juxtaposition of another, and how much the non-specialist may gain from the comparison of histories different in detail but similar in outline. Lorcin presents well-orchestrated, thoroughly researched work in comparative colonial history that achieves more than the title promises. In the process of 'historicizing colonial nostalgia,' Lorcin delivers broad social and cultural histories of settler societies in Algeria and Kenya, probably the two most significant cases of failed settler colonialism in modern history. Her book is excellent and anyone working in French or British colonial history will benefit from it." - H-France Review "This book builds on recent moves in the historical discipline towards interdisciplinary, transnational history, providing a unique, comparative account of colonial nostalgia throughout the twentieth century and into the first decade of the twenty-first century . . . Lorcin masterfully intertwines historical narrative with literary analysis." - French History"In this masterful study, Patricia M. E. Lorcin systematically compares two different places, cultures, and empires over an extended period of time - French Algeria and British Kenya - within the overarching framework of colonial nostalgia and women's writings. Colonial women's literary output serves as an entry point for understanding critical, but shifting, relationships: individual and collective sensibilities, gendered narratives, and self-formation or identity. Lorcin's triangulation between competing understandings of modernity, various literary and experienced forms of nostalgia, and women's roles in and experiences of settler colonialism represents a real tour de force." - Julia Clancy-Smith, professor of History, University of Arizona"This is a fascinating and thoughtful book. Patricia M. E. Lorcin's study of women writers in the colonies of French Algeria and British Kenya is original and, by turns, illuminating and disquieting. Well-conceived and imaginatively constructed, the book is elegantly written and forensically clear. It will be of huge interest to a general readership as well as to specialist scholars of colonial and imperial history, women's history, and historical memory. Lorcin's study offers a welcome corrective, its value evident in the new perspectives it reveals." - Martin Thomas, professor of History, University of Exeter, UK