Algeria as Postcolony? Rethinking the Colonial Legacy of Post-Structuralism


  • Muriam Haleh Davis New York University



postcolonialism, algeria, post-structuralism, Derrida, Bourdieu


While there is little doubt that Algeria was of enormous importance to the theoretical output that is often recognized as French, here I would like to ask: what is at stake in re-inscribing these French intellectuals as postcolonial? In what ways did the particularities of Algerian history impact French philosophy? Indeed, if the term postcolonial is meant to describe those who were influenced by events in Algeria, then an entire generation of French thinkers might be considered postcolonial to varying degrees. Surely Derrida’s oeuvre was influenced by his experiences in Algeria, but does this make him postcolonial in the same way as Jean-Paul Sartre or Pierre Bourideu, who have also become important figures in postcolonial theory?