Fall 2016 - HIST 417W D100

Problems in Modern French History (4)

ST: The Algerian War

Class Number: 5370

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2260, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Roxanne Panchasi
    1 778 782-6809
    Office: AQ 6017
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 224 or 225.



An examination of a principal aspect of, or period in, the history of French society since the Revolution. For example, attention may be given to the 19th century French revolutionary tradition, or to society and culture in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Republics, or to colonialism and decolonisation. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 417W may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Writing.


The Algerian War of Independence that took place from 1954 to 1962 was one of the most significant conflicts of the twentieth century. With legacies that continue to shape the societies of both France and Algeria, the war also played a significant role on the international stage as an emblem of the violence of colonialism and decolonization, and as a model for contemporary and future movements for national liberation around the world. In this course, we will situate the history of the Algerian War within a broader temporal frame that reaches from the French conquest of 1830 up to the complex and contested memories of the present. Paying close attention to the impact of the war on France and Algeria, we will also consider the war in global context.

Prerequisite: 45 units including nine units of lower division history. If you do not meet the prerequisites for the course, please contact the course instructor.


Examining a range of sources, students in this course will become more fluent in the analysis of the different types of materials available to historians, from archival documents and memoir, to fiction and film, to scholarly interpretation and debates over the course and meanings of the Algerian War. In addition to writing weekly reading analyses in preparation for seminar discussion, students will have an opportunity to present on and shape our discussion assigned texts at least once during the term. Students will complete an in-depth research assignment focused on an aspect of the Algerian War and its legacies in France. Throughout the semester, written assignments will include draft stages, peer response, and opportunities for revision.


  • Seminar Participation 20%
  • Reading Analyses (10 x 2 pages) 20%
  • Short Essay (6 pages) 20%
  • Research Essay (15 pages) 40%



Martin Evans, Algeria: France’s Undeclared War (2012)

Henri Alleg, The Question (1958)

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961)

Assia Djebar, Children of the New World (1962)

A number of additional selections will also be required and available via Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

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Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html