Prof. Maya Boutaghou

Scientific Field: 
September, 2022 to June, 2023

LE STUDIUM Visiting Researcher 


University of Virginia - USA 

In residence at

POuvoirs, LEttres, Normes (POLEN)  / University of Orléans - FR 

Host scientist

Prof. Aude Déruelle


Interdisciplinary forms of historical writings in colonial and postcolonial contexts

Alternative forms of historical writings

One major orientation of my research in the four coming years will be dedicated to alternative forms of historical writings particularly in contexts with a problematic access to historical archives and to archival material in general. This current project addresses new ways of rewriting cultural history from a decolonial perspective without erasing previous narratives but trying to enlighten them and read them with decolonial lenses.

Historical representations of colonial urban spaces

Another dimension reflects on historical representations of urban spaces through comparative lenses using photographs, maps and literary discourse. An illustration could be found in Eugène Fromentin’s Une année dans le Sahel (1859), his accounts render the urban historiography of Algiers and its colonial transformation. In the Summer of 2022, I am invited by the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory to give a week-long series of graduate seminars at the Summer School of Global Studies and Critical Theory held at University of Bologna. I plan to develop this course on literary accounts of urban planning. I will compare colonial cities in their configuration and representations in time. How did the transformation of urban planning affect urban cultures in the Mediterranean, in the Caribbean and in the Indian Ocean? Of course, this dimension can be either limited to the French Empire with a textual and spatial analysis of the development of Algiers, Tunis, Cairo, Fort-de-France, Port-Louis or it can also be extended to other urban developments in other Empires. How is this transformation traceable in literary texts and discourses? How is it also challenged by alternative forms of historiography mainly proposed by historical fictions, travelogues, essays, etc.?