Colonial Memory And Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in by Andrea L. Smith

By Andrea L. Smith

"[I]ntersects with very lively parts of analysis in historical past and anthropology, and hyperlinks those domain names of inquiry spanning Europe and North Africa in an inventive and cutting edge fashion." -- Douglas Holmes, Binghamton UniversityMaltese settlers in colonial Algeria had by no means lived in France, yet as French voters have been without warning "repatriated" there after Algerian independence in 1962. In France this day, those pieds-noirs are usually linked to "Mediterranean" characteristics, the persisting tensions surrounding the French-Algerian warfare, and far-right, anti-immigrant politics. via their social golf equipment, they've got cast an identification within which Malta, now not Algeria, is the unifying ancestral native land. Andrea L. Smith makes use of background and ethnography to argue that students have didn't account for the impression of colonialism on Europe itself. She explores nostalgia and collective reminiscence; the settlers' liminal place within the colony as subalterns and colonists; and selective forgetting, within which Malta replaces Algeria, the "true" place of origin, that's now inaccessible, fraught with guilt and contradiction. The examine offers perception into race, ethnicity, and nationalism in Europe in addition to cultural context for knowing political developments in modern France.

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The bracketing off of anthropologists as morally neutral, an important strategy during the discipline’s colonial era, continues, and scholarship on colonial questions usually is concentrated on formerly colonized regions and on the past, thus distancing researchers from their research subjects (Fabian 1983) and from any clear association with A Song in Malta | 29 contemporary imperial practices. This distancing is nowhere more apparent than in the dearth of research on European colonists themselves in the colonies, and in the anthropology of Europe.

She paused for a minute, and then pointed over the crowd to a man with grey hair, his arm around another of a similar age, sitting and laughing. “You see that man over there, my uncle? He is always talking about North Africa. Everything is always reminding him of his home, of his home town, of Algeria. He’ll see a plant, and it will remind him of a similar species that grows back there. A tree reminds him of the one in front of his old house there. A shift in the light, the clouds . . There are always echoes back .

Because they were based on extreme power differentials and the rule of the many by the few, colonial societies always faced resistance and risked disintegration. Divisions between colonists within such a society could prove fatal to the entire enterprise, and, consequently, the ruling faction often presented a unified image of itself to hide the potentially fatal fault-lines from those it dominated (Stoler 1989; Stoler and Cooper 1997). Liminal or hard-to-categorize social groups are often viewed as especially polluting or dangerous (Douglas 1966; Leach 1964), and we find this to be the case in French Algeria, where the Maltese were viewed as a particular threat to the stability of dominant rule.

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