Registration now open

Registration for the conference is now open at the following eventbrite page:

We are also delighted to announce the provisional programme for the symposium as follows:

9.15 – 45. Registration and welcome.

9.45 – 11.15 Panel 1: Transcultural legacies

‘“The Mirage”: Post-colonial Insights towards Cultural Identity’ (Mohamed El Bouayadi, Moroccan Association of Film Critics)

Black Friday: considering a transcultural form of The Battle of Algiers’ (Eleanor Halsall, SOAS)

La Bataille d’Alger, la Bande Dessinée and Public Engagement in History’ (Edward Still, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford).

11.15- 11. 30 Break

11.30 – 1.00 Panel 2: Gendering resistance

‘In the “Dictatorship of Truth”, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”’ (Aleena Karim, The University of Birmingham)

‘“They tear away at her veil … The man is Ali”: (Cross)Dressing the nation in Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers’ (Shelley Saggar, University of Leeds)

The Battle of Algiers: Women, Resistance, Cultural dichotomies and Beyond in Tunisia’ (Manel Zouabi, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York)

1.00 – 1.45 Lunch

1.45 – 2. 45 Keynote

‘Carnival of Algiers’. Dr Alan O’Leary, University of Leeds.

2.45 – 4.15 Panel 3: The shadow of violence

‘Algerian Independence: The Representation of an Urban War’ (Ouerdia Ben Mamar, Université de Paris 8)

La Bataille d’Alger or the colonial warfare at the roots of a new world order’ (Dr Amanda Crawley and Dr Sophie Watt, University of Sheffield)

“This Cement Mixed With Blood and Anger”: Mimicry and Violent Resistance in The Battle of Algiers. (Sarah Jilani, graduate of Queen’s College, Oxford.)

4.15 – 4.30 Break

4.30 – 5.30 Roundtable

Dr Alan O’Leary (University of Leeds), Dr Claire Eldridge (University of Leeds), Dr Amanda Crawley Jackson (University of Sheffield) and Dr Sophie Watt (University of Sheffield).

5.30 – 6.30 Wine and conference close.



Screening of The Battle of Algiers at the University of Leeds [Staff and Students only]

The Battle of Algiers
[screening and round table]
March the 2nd at 5 pm 
Phil Taylor Cinema 
School of Media and Communication [2nd floor – room 2.13] 
Clothworkers’ Building North– (building 56 on Campus Map)
 University of Leeds
(w/ English subtitles)
Round table with:
Associate Professor and Director of Research and Innovation at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and author of the forthcoming book The Battle of Algiers.

Reader at the School Sociology and Social Policy and author of the books A Fundamental Fear: Eurocentrism and the Emergence of Islamism and Recalling the Caliphate.

Admission is free but due to copyright restrictions is only open to university staff and students.

Call For Papers

‘The Battle of Algiers at 50: Legacies in Film and Literature’ is a one-day symposium organised by postgraduate students from the University of Leeds and Sheffield from the fields of Francophone studies and Geography. The symposium will offer a transdisciplinary platform for bringing together researchers at all stages in their careers who are interested in transcultural politics, literature and film, with the specific objective of considering the legacy and the futures of the anti-Colonial epic The Battle of Algiers 50 years since its release in 1966. 
The formative effect that The Battle of Algiers has had on cinema in North Africa cannot be underestimated. It has largely been celebrated as an accurate and balanced depiction of violence during the battle of Algiers, and by extension, the Algerian War for Independence (1954-62). However, The Battle of Algiers is a film that has led many afterlives which transcend national and cultural borders. Both celebrated as an anti-colonial epic and example of Algerian nationalist heroism, the film, conversely, has also been held up as a document of French military expertise. The Criterion Collection’s 2004 re-release of the film in the United States demonstrates the constantly shifting status of the film on the global stage, featuring commentary from contemporary directors such as Spike Lee, but also interviews with counterterrorist experts in ‘The Battle of Algiers: A Case Study’.
This symposium is a unique opportunity to consider how these various legacies of The Battle of Algiers continue to inform understandings of Algerian history, but also influence perspectives on political violence and national identity throughout North Africa and beyond. What does it mean to consider the film as a ‘case study’ in terrorist and counterterrorist activities? How can we think about film as an alternative historical narrative of decolonization? In what ways has Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers influenced cinema and the arts in Algeria and beyond? 
Confirmed Keynote
We are delighted to welcome Dr Jamal Bahmad from the University of Leeds as the keynote speaker.
We particularly welcome proposals for papers which explore the following areas:
  •         The spectacle of political violence
  •         Colonial legacies in film and literature
  •         Memories of colonialism and anti-colonialism
  •         Postcolonial and/or transcultural cinema(s)
  •         ‘Accented’ cinema
  •         Transvergent filmmaking
  •         Gender in revolution
  •         Queer perspectives on the nation  
  •         Alternative histories in the arts
  •         The screen as veil
Please send abstracts for papers (300 words) to Alex Hastie, Beatrice Ivey and Takfarinas Abdiouene at by the 15th January 2016. 
While the principal language of the symposium will be English, the organisers welcome contributions in French and Arabic.