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Redrawing French Empire Comics

Mark McKinney

Publication Year: 2013

Redrawing French Empire in Comics by Mark McKinney investigates how comics have represented the colonization and liberation of Algeria and Indochina. It focuses on the conquest and colonization of Algeria (from 1830), the French war in Indochina (1946–1954), and the Algerian War (1954–1962). Imperialism and colonialism already featured prominently in nineteenth-century French-language comics and cartoons by Töpffer, Cham, and Petit. As society has evolved, so has the popular representation of those historical forces. French torture of Algerians during the Algerian War, once taboo, now features prominently in comics, especially since 2000, when debate on the subject was reignited in the media and the courts. The increasingly explicit and spectacular treatment in comics of the more violent and lurid aspects of colonial history and ideology is partly due to the post-1968 growth of an adult comics production and market. For example, the appearance of erotic and exotic, feminized images of Indochina in French comics in the 1980s indicated that colonial nostalgia for French Indochina had become fashionable in popular culture. Redrawing French Empire in Comics shows how contemporary cartoonists such as Alagbé, Baloup, Boudjellal, Ferrandez, and Sfar have staked out different, sometimes conflicting, positions on French colonial history.

Published by: The Ohio State University Press

Series: Studies in Comics and Cartoons


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

I thank my colleagues at Miami University, who have been extremely supportive of my research over the years: Jonathan Strauss, Chair of French and Italian; my other departmental colleagues, who have heard and commented on my presentations of this material in our Irvin works-in-progress series (2000, 2009); ...

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Chapter 1. Redrawing French Empire in Comics: An Introduction

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pp. 1-34

How do French cartoonists redraw French empire in comics? In what ways do they represent its consequences today? In Jambon-Beur: Les couples mixtes [Ham-Butter/Arab1: Mixed Couples] (1995), by Farid Boudjellal, the painful burden of colonial history has a devastating impact on Charlotte-Badia, ...

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Chapter 2. Redrawing Colonial Algeria

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pp. 35-83

Given the importance of colonial memory to contemporary French politics and national identity (Silverman 1992; Stora 1992), Pierre Nora’s editorial decision to more or less neglect colonial sites in his otherwise rich, monumental edited work, Les lieux de mémoire [Places of Memory] (1984–92), surprised many people. ...

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Chapter 3. The Fall of French Indochina

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pp. 84-144

After the loss of an imperial territory, one way of regaining access to it is vicariously through representation, by redrawing empire and retelling its myths. It may, for example, be conjured up by a nostalgic colonialist storyteller, as is the case for the reader-viewer and the fictional characters in Trafic en Indochine [Trafficking in Indochina], ...

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Chapter 4. The Algerian War and its Aftermath

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pp. 145-210

As one of the most violent and protracted decolonization conflicts, the Algerian War would seem to offer a rich subject matter for comic books. However, writing in 1990, Kacem Basfao observes that the preceding colonial period—stretching from France’s initial invasion of Algeria in 1830 until the outbreak of the war on 1 November 1954 ...

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Chapter 5. The Voyage Out and the Voyage In

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pp. 211-224

What is “the meaning of the colonial voyage” (Memmi 1985: 33) today? The “voyage out”—to colonize, survey or draw empire, for example—is a corollary to what Edward Said (1994b) calls the “voyage in.”1 I use these two tropes here to summarize some of the most important transformations in comics about French colonialism and imperialism. ...


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pp. 225-243

Works Cited

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pp. 244-266


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pp. 267-288

E-ISBN-13: 9780814270233
E-ISBN-10: 0814270239
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814212202
Print-ISBN-10: 0814212204

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 44 images
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Studies in Comics and Cartoons
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Lucy Shelton Caswell and Jared Gardner See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 867740959
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Redrawing French Empire Comics