Double, Triple Entrapment: The Harki Story
Mon, February 13, 2012 • 12:00 PM • SAC 2.120
A lecture by Vincent Crapanzano, Anthropology/Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center
Prof. Crapanzano's paper is concerned with the role of narrative and silence in the passage of a wound – a trauma – from generation to generation. Specifically he looks at the way parental – in case in point, paternal – silence perpetuates the wound in children. Set stories, which inevitably lack particularity, seem incapable of “filling” that silence, fulfilling the children’s quest to know. They subsume what particulars are known in a generalized narrative that, repeated over and over again, loses vitality. Frozen, it intensifies the wound…. Prof. Crapanzano discusses this dynamic in terms of the Harkis – those Algerians who fought alongside the French, as auxiliary troops, during Algeria’s War of Independence. Between seventy and one hundred fifty thousand were slaughtered at the war’s end by the Algerian population at large. Those who managed to escape to France were incarcerated in camps and forestry hamlets, some for over sixteen years.
Coordinated by the Center for European Studies as part of "The EU Center for Excellence Lecture Series in Anthropology," co-sponsored by Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of French and Italian, and the Program in Comparative Literature.