- 1962, Towards a Genealogy of Knowledge

As a new chronological frame, 1962 inaugurated novel spaces and forms of
knowledge production and diffusion. What is necessary is a genealogy of
knowledge that exposes how disciplinary norms and governance have framed
research on colonization, the war for independence, decolonization, the
postcolony. In other words, how can we analyze the tensions, the
commitments, and the ways that power-knowledge have worked?

The Power of Archives

Particular attention must be given to questioning the archives-their
accessibility; their legitimacy; their existence; and their status
(written documents; oral transmission; official sources; art work; popular
culture.). Critical work on these questions will detail what conditions
make possible claims to objectivity about the past and open up new
possibilities to think differently. Particularly welcome are efforts to
explore types of archives that escape or trouble definitions embraced by
the historical profession, notably those that invite interdisciplinary
cooperation and inventivity.

The (Moral) Economy of Knowledge

Can we map the various national and transnational sites that produce,
finance, and disseminate knowledge of 1962? Would this allow us to
understand the economics, to measure hegemonic power, to historicize the
force fields and the impediments that frame and orient them?

Sujects and Objects, Legitimate and Illegitimate

What can be gained by re-examining existing research as a source base that
reveals critical insight into what subjects have been deemed legitimate or
illegitimate? Such an approach might make clear what well-trodden topos
and over-examined questions block from view.

- 1962, Inventing Revolution
1962 as the entry point into a new era invents the revolutionary moment,
its practices, its narratives, its arguments, and its failures. The aim is
to explore the era that 1962 shaped, in its reach and its
expectations-Third Worldist; socialist; feminist; youthful; Pan-Arab;
Pan-African; internationalist-and to show how this era represented 1962.
These currents invent “their” Algerian Revolution, transform 1962 into
their victory–at the same time as other states and people take up the
repressive tactics and techniques of control and governance the French
government developed during and for the war. When we unmoor 1962 and
distinguish it from Algeria’s independence struggle, might it open
possibilities to detail how it is taken up elsewhere, the political and
analytical readings and uses that are made of it?

Revolutionary Postures and Impostures

1962 transforms Algeria’s war for liberation into a revolutionary matrix,
the prototype of revolutionary postures and thought. It creates, through
the disappearance of dissension and internal conflicts, a novel
orientalist leitmotif and myth, at once populist and gendered, for
liberatory and emancipatory movements. Returning to this invention
promises to raise several questions: how did the revolution construct and
masculinize history and the people-a “singular hero” that rose as if one
man-how did it theatricalize them and, in doing so, also create
marginalized, feminized, forgotten figures? How, in the sanctification of
liberation did 1962 legitimate violence as necessary? What was the cost in
terms of what sometimes became a violent denial of the day-to-day
complexity of social relations during and after the struggle? How did
other utopias, carried by, among others, the Palestinian national
movement, the ANC, Black Power, Latin American revolutionaries (Cuba,
Shining Path, the Sandinistas, in the Chiapas) take up, discuss, and take
account (or not) of 1962?

Pathways, Movements, Spaces

The invention of revolution is also the invention of decolonization. What
can we make of the pathways, the movements, the holding spaces that 1962
prefigures and anticipates–in the establishment of “regroupment” camps in
Algeria and France; in the emergence of Algiers as the paradigmatic
example of an integrated city; a segregated city; an insurgent city; a
pacified city (first the martyred city of “The Battle of Algiers,” then
the “Mecca of Revolutionaries”)-which provided crucial references for
rethinking contemporary categories of the frontier, of circulation, of
mobility, of exile, and of how ground-up developments redefined them? What
of the political, juridical and repressive practices that worked to master
human and cultural fluctuations and to diffuse conflict?

A Word, a Vocabulary: Rereading Implementations and Effects

The reiteration of the revolutionary moment requires that we qualify the
terms used, that we localize the forms, in order to measure their
transcontinental disseminations. These have undone Eurocentric typologies
and opened up new repertoires of claims, which are still being inventoried
and deployed, as the Arab Spring and the spread of “Indignation” remind

- 1962, Postcolonial Imaginaries
1962 is an event with multiple implications: rupture, frontier, narration,
representation, invention, bricolage. This polysemy has catalyzed new and
sometimes counter-intuitive connections and understandings, in terms of
culture, politics, and identities.

1962 as Tool-Box

>From a postcolonial perspective, thinking 1962 requires attention to the
politics of how it has been taken up in literature, art, cultural
debates, sports, and linguistic debates in different regional and
continental contexts at distinct moments. How has this revolutionary
imaginary of rupture and renewal been taken up in Algeria, but also in
Africa, Europe, the Americas, India, Asia, Oceania? What can we say about
the authors and actors who did so? What are the forms and frames through
which it has been referenced? How have various political, military, and
media efforts to make use of the struggle for emancipation enlarged,
inversed, deformed, or transformed its meanings?

Identity Politics, Poetics of Otherness

After 1962, identities that previously had gone unheard or had not existed
(harki(s), beurs, pieds noir(s), Maghrebis) take form while still others
are redefined, their possibilities to affirm or make claims reconfigured
(Muslims, Berbers, North African Jews, Algerians). In asking what 1962 did
to questions of language, identity, and memory-of what it means to be a
minority-we are also interested in how 1962 opens up new ways, poetic as
well as political, to analyze the various forms of otherness that it
produces and inspires.

Europe as Province

1962 dissolved and redrew national frontiers and the geo-political
meanings attached to them. This was true not just for France and Algeria,
but also in the spaces and connections that link North to North; South to
South; and South to North. How do pre-existing empires split and
“provincialize”; how do new “empires” take shape (in the Cold War; through
neo-liberalism; through religious politics; commerce; etc.)?

1962 as Inspiration

The arts, literature, music, the theater, and live performance have all
embraced 1962 as a date and a possibility, giving it meaning in ways that
go beyond (and, sometimes, tell us more than) its political echoes. What
do such representations tell us about the world of 1962 and since, through
the forms and genres that are chosen and invented? How do the creators of
such diverse representations–that straddle the historical and the
political without ever being wholly reducible to them-frame memories and
shape understandings? How does attention to artistic representations,
forms, and stagings reveal the politics of memory and how memories and
histories are spread and recounted? What types of discussions are possible
and interesting between “scholarship” and the understandings and
imaginaries produced by artists?

- A Portrait Gallery of 1962

What did 1962 do to the political, intellectual, scientific, and artistic
landscapes in which it resonated? How can attention to named individuals
(Germaine Tillion, Mostefa Lacheraf, Jacques Derrida, Che Guevara, Kateb
Yacine, Angela Davis, Malcom X, Abdelmalek Sayad, Mohamed Arkoun, Pierre
Bourdieu, are but a few that come to mind) alone or in their interactions,
help us think about topics related to 1962, those suggested above or