Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
French & Italian
This dissertation examines the ways in which postcolonial Francophone novels use the concept of disappearance to make sense of contemporary experience. I study that trope with the aim of understanding how the political pasts of Algeria, France, and Morocco, changing notions of subjectivity, new, globalized socio-economic realities, and unstable forms of individual and social identity contribute to a present-day “structure of experience” where disappearance defines one’s mode of being in the world. The dissertation investigates four novels—Georges Perec’s La disparition (1969), Mahi Binebine’s Les funerailles du lait (1994), Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Partir (2006), and Assia Djebar’s La disparition de la langue française (2003)—in order to outline the nature and consequences of that mode of being and its connection to contemporary issues such as migration, trauma, the body, memory, and sexuality, and nation.
Nesse, Erik, "Vanishing in the Present: Disappearance in the Mediterranean French Novel" (2016). French & Italian Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 11.