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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


MMLL Alumnus give talk at Magdalene College

The Teacher as Anti-Hero

A talk by Professor Nicholas Harrison FBA, King’s College London


Friday 24 November, 5:15 till 7pm

Followed by drinks

 All welcome!

Seminar room 5, Cripps Building, Magdalene College Cambridge, and online

Meeting ID: 910 3817 9314


Nicholas Harrison’s book Our Civilizing Mission: The Lessons of Colonial Education (Liverpool, 2019) asks what can be learned from treating colonial education not just as an example of colonialism, but as a provocative, uncomfortable example of education. This talk will revisit some of its key themes, exploring the story of Mouloud Feraoun (and assuming no familiarity with his work). He was a successful novelist who remained in Algeria and continued both to write and to work as a teacher and educationalist throughout the war of independence. The aim of the talk is to cast light on that decision, which placed Feraoun’s life at risk both from Algerian nationalists and from the French pro-colonial Right. His commitment to education was, in its way, heroic, but it was a paradoxical heroism, at once political and apolitical.


Nick Harrison has edited three collections of essays, including Gillo Pontecorvo’s Battle of Algiers (2007), and written two other books: Circles of Censorship (1995), and Postcolonial Criticism: History, Theory and the Work of Fiction (2003).