Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2009

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Ungar, Steven

First Committee Member

Barkan, Sandra

Second Committee Member

Hope, Geoffrey

Third Committee Member

Guentner, Wendelin

Fourth Committee Member

Scullion, Rosemarie


Women novelists in Algeria emerged in the 1980's and have reached a pinnacle of acclaim over the last twenty years among individuals of diverse backgrounds. Rooted in the past of the national liberation war and characterized by its rebellious nature, their literature combats practices of patriarchy, the obsolete content of the national family code, and the barbarity of ongoing religious fundamentalism. Confined to the patriarchal system, marginalized by the laws of the family code; outraged by the Islamists' threats, revolted and tired of the archaic laws of their society, Algerian female novelists are still struggling with the constraints of their gender.

My dissertation studies fictional narratives by women who struggle against the violence and patriarchy inherent in traditional Algerian society. I analyze the thematic, stylistic, and rhetorical strategies in three novels: N'zid, Surtout ne te retourne pas and La Jeune fille et la mère. Through close readings of the texts, I focus on how these writers combat the collective and ancestral silencing of women by transforming through textual violence an identity inherited from colonial and patriarchal discourses in order to construct a new subjectivity that escapes traditional structures. I also show how these novelists express their opposition to the fundamentalists' views to escape from the reactionary attitudes of fanatics and those who advocate an uncompromising stance towards women.


vi, 209 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 204-209).


Copyright 2009 Schahrazède Longou