Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia: The Voices of Women in Literature, Cinema and Other Arts since Independence 

The 2017 NEH Summer Institute Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia: The Voices of Women in Literature, Cinema and Other Arts since Independence will be held at Oregon State University from June 26 to July 14, 2017. Because to date no comprehensive assessment has been attempted of post-colonial Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia from the perspective of the region’s cultural artistic vitality, the intent of this institute is to shed light on the significance of North African artistic expressions today. Expressions in the literary, visual and musical arts with origins in Berber, Arabic and European idioms; expressions that have adapted to modernity, postcolonialism, the reality of globalism and advances of social media. The institute will bring together leading scholars in North African studies and twenty-five college and university teachers wishing to expand their coursework or research on contemporary North Africa.

Two previous NEH Summer Institutes serve as foundations for this NEH event.  The first in 2007, Berber North Africa: The Hidden Mediterranean Culture, shed light on the significance of pre-Arabic Berber culture in North African society today.  Inspired by the first, the second institute in 2014, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia: Guiding Themes in Literature, Cinema and Other Arts since Independence, expanded the field of view beyond Berber culture to encompass the importance of artistic expressions across the Maghreb over the last six decades.  Both institutes exposed a recurring question that the present proposal seeks to examine:  why have North African women rarely been given the right to be heard since Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia gained national independence?  This question, in its broadest dimensions, opens gateways to a number of disciplinary responses in the humanities.