Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Modern Languages (French)


Julin Everett

Committee Member

Julin Everett

Committee Member

Colette Trout

Committee Member

Danielle Wildmann Abraham

Department Chair

Matthew Mizenko

Project Description

This project explores cultural marginalization of the female transnational subject through beur and pieds noirs novels by Marie Cardinal, Farida Belghoul and Ferrudja Kessas and through Yamina Benguigui’s film Inch’Allah Dimanche. In these narratives, assimilation of a female transnational subject is challenged by the perceived homogeneity of French culture. The project argues that in beur texts, which suggest a relationship between patriarchy and expressions of linguistic and cultural mastery, the dynamic between masculinized French female mentors, emasculated Algerian husbands and fathers, and the subjugated beur or Algerian women torn between the two, mimic that of a transnational family. This newly formed familial interdependence allows for the development of transnational cultural identity within female protagonists. This work also examines narratives in which female pieds noirs authors express their longing for acceptance in both French and Algerian spheres through a nostalgia for colonial dominance. The desire for a lost colonial power juxtaposed with feelings of cultural inferiority in post-imperial France leads to states reminiscent of dissociative personality disorder in the conflicting autobiographical accounts of pied-noir author Marie Cardinal. Finally, this project proposes that the rejection of singular cultural identity leads to feelings of shame and guilt concerning female sexuality in texts by both Marie Cardinal and beur writer Ferrudja Kessas. These analyses of the monolithic conceptualizations of French nationalism portrayed in these works allows us to consider the experience of immigrant groups in the metropole.