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Title:Les étrangers aux frontières de la France : étude de récits de migration (1870 à nos jours)
Author(s):Ennaili, Leila
Director of Research:Mathy, Jean-Philippe; Murdoch, H. Adlai
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mathy, Jean-Philippe
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Murdoch, H. Adlai; Flinn, Margaret C.; Keller, Marcus
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nationalist literature
Abstract:In this dissertation, I examine how migration narratives make an ambiguous contribution to the democratization of French national borders. National borders are essentially spaces of crises from which it is possible to study the constant evolution of national identity. Migration narratives, regardless of their ideological dimension, offer representations of the border and of the foreigner that result from a tension between the difficulty to think identity outside of the national frame and the questioning of such a strong tie between identity and the nation. At the border, identities are fundamentally unstable. The first part is focused on the north-eastern and the southern borders of France at the end of the 19th century. The French nationalist literature at the time, advocating for the return of Alsace-Lorraine to the Republic, is characterized by a tension between nationalism and regionalism. The ideology of latinity constitutes a second major feature of the discourse on French identity. Developed by Louis Bertrand, it claims that France can only be regenerated in Algeria. However, a gap between his fictional works and his essays reveals latinity as hybrid and heterogeneous. Borders are also polysemic, namely, they do have the same meaning for everyone. The second part of the dissertation focuses on the southern border of France from the 30s to the 90s. The study of films and novels demonstrate that former borders are still active, especially colonial borders. Finally, the third part of the dissertation addresses the representation of migrants who were trapped in the north of France, at the border of the Schengen area, from the 90s to 2009. Migration narratives bring attention to the totalitarian tendencies of the state, but they also struggle with the contradictions of the humanitarian discourse and the analogies made with previous immigration waves.
Issue Date:2011-08-26
Rights Information:© Leila Ennaili
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-27
Date Deposited:2011-08

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