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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Prof Maya Boutaghou to give Public Lecture at Magdalene College

We are delighted to invite you to a public lecture at Magdalene College, The Parlour, First Court, Friday 28 April 17:30-18:45


"White Tongue: The Colonized Woman and Language"

A public lecture  by Prof Maya Boutaghou, University of Virginia

Followed by drinks, All welcome!


Abstract“White Tongue: The Colonized Woman and Language” considers colonialism a disease inducing symptomatic multilingualism and cultural pluralism in former colonized regions: India, Egypt, Algeria, and Mauritius. This talk explores multilingual writings in two periods (end of nineteenth century and second half of twentieth century), and four different colonial contexts while addressing a long-term history of connections between India and Mauritius, as well as between Egypt and Algeria. The writers whose texts I present and analyse are Toru Dutt (1856-1877) from India, Mayy Ziyadah (1886-1941) from Egypt, Assia Djebar (1935-2015) from Algeria, and Ananda Devi (1957-) from Mauritius. The question here is not about tracing back the history of multilingual writing, but about the constitution of a multilingual, colonial, and postcolonial self in 19th century India and Egypt, and 20th century Algeria and Mauritius, mainly perceived through the paradigmatic literary production by the women writers of these regions.

BioMaya Boutaghou is Associate Professor of French and Global Cultures at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Occidentalismes, Romans historiques postcoloniaux et identités nationales au XIXe siècle (2016), and Ernest Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? Genèse et postérité, de l’Empire à la nation (2020). She guest-edited, among others,  “The Algerian War of Independence and its Legacy in Algeria, France and Beyond,” L’Esprit créateur (2014), edited Représentations de la guerre d’indépendance algérienne (2019), and co-edited issues of SITES: “Mapping Francophone Postcolonial Theories” (2018). She is also the author of a novel, Voyage d’Alger (Alger: Aframed, 2019). With Anne Donadey, she is currently preparing the Dictionnaire Assia Djebar; and the guest-editor of a special issue for Expressions Maghrebines on New Historiographies of Algeria. 

This lecture is sponsored by Trinity and Magdalene Colleges.