Culture and Counterinsurgency: The Battle of Algiers at the Pentagon, 2003

Seminar

Speaker(s)

Vaughn Rasberry, Associate Professor in the Department of English and Academic Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford

Date and Time

November 12, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Availability

Open to the public.

No RSVP required

Location

Online, via Zoom: REGISTER

**Please note all CDDRL events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone

 

About this Event:  Following the Allied invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. government and military officials revived counterinsurgency doctrine and practice—widely employed, though not invented, during the era of decolonization—in service of the nation’s ongoing War on Terror. This revival was dramatized during a widely publicized screening at the Pentagon of Gillo Pontecorvo’s classic film The Battle of Algiers (1966). What insights into (Algerian) insurgency and (French) counterinsurgency did U.S. officials hope to glean from Pontecorvo’s film? And how would these insights be mobilized, if at all, for the occupation of Iraq and other insurgent geographies?  This talk revisits this historical moment and the questions it raises about the relationship between U.S. militarism and the uses of literature and film in the management of insurgency in Africa and Western Asia.

 

Vaughn RasberryAbout the Speaker:  Vaughn Rasberry is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Academic Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. He is the author of Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics and the Black Literary Imagination (Harvard UP, 2016), winner of the Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. 

 

 

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