The Algerian War

Languages & Cultures, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 21093

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 and 2

Other pre-requisites You should normally be studying French as part of your degree in your home country. Since this module is taught in French, you will need to be Bac+3 i

Module description

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the origins, course and consequences of the Algerian War of 1954-62. Beginning with a brief overview of the history of the key players and events of the war, the course then focuses on particular aspects of the conflict including: France’s civilising mission, the policy prescriptions of France’s political class, the actions of Algeria’s European and Muslim populations and the crisis of the French Army. Students are also encouraged to see the Algerian War within a wider context. The module will examine the extent to which the debate over the legitimacy of the Algerian War can be seen as a microcosm for a much wider debate about French values, French civilisation and the role of France in the wider world. It will encourage students to think critically about what colonialism was and the reasons why it ended as a formal system of control. Students will, at times, be invited to consider parallels between the Algerian war and contemporary political phenomena.

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lecture and small group seminar