Amina Zarzi

Amina Zarzi

Department of Modern Languages
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD Title: The Desert in Algerian Identity: a Literary Perspective
Supervisors: Dr Berny Sèbe and Dr Anissa Daoudi
PhD Modern Languages


  • BA in British and American Literatures
  • MA in British and American Studies


  • French language assistant tutor at the University of Birmingham (November 2020 – present)
  • Research-Based French language Tutor at the University of Birmingham (November 2020- March 2021)


My PhD project centres around the place of the literary representation of the Sahara Desert in the development of Algerian identity, from colonial to contemporary times. It examines the ways in which arid spaces featured in the Algerian national narratives. It therefore studies the implied influence of the francophone authors by the French imaginary during imperial times, when arid regions were considered lands of military and spiritual exploits. 

Other activities

  • November 2018 - Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies ‘Orientalism and the Francophone Postcolonial World: Legacies of Edward W. Said, London. Paper title: ‘the Curse of colonisabilité and the Representation of the Orient’.
  • February 2019 - The Graduate Centre for Europe (GCFE) ‘Workshop on Postcolonialism’, University of Birmingham. Paper title: ‘Colonial Bilingualism and Hybridization of identity in Postcolonial Algerian literature’.
  • April 2019 – Participation in an annual conference on The Sahara Desert in Literary Narratives, Medenine, Tunisia.
  • June 2019 – University of Birmingham 13th Research Poster Conference. Poster title: Algerian Literary Identity Expressions through the Prism of the Sahara Desert.
  • June 2019 - TIMES (The Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies) post-graduate Forum, annual SYMPOSIUM, University of Birmingham.  Paper title: ‘Bedouin and sedentary civilizations through the prism of the Sahara Desert’.
  • February 2020 - SFEVE (French Society for Edwardian and Victorian Studies) annual conference ‘Showcasing Empire’, Aix-Marseille University & Archives Nationale d’Outre-Mer, France.  Paper title: ‘Showcasing Emptiness: the conquest of the desert and the development of ‘Saharomania’.
  • May 2021 – William’s College, Comparative Desert Imaginations Conference, United States. Paper title: ‘Desert Memory in Malika Mokedddem’s Fiction’.
  • Committee member of the Graduate Centre for Europe (GCFE)


  • Zarzi, Amina. 'Showcasing Emptiness? Voicing Redemption Through ‘Saharomania’ in the French Literary Imaginary'. Cahiers Victoriens et Édouardien (forthcoming summer 2021).
  • Zarzi, Amina. ‘On the traces of the roumia: the nostalgic remembering of Isabelle Eberhardt in Malika Mokeddem’s Le Siècle des Sauterelles (1992)’. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (forthcoming).