Elizabeth M. PeregoNov 20, 2023
Humor and Power in Algeria, 1920 to 2021
Indiana University Press 2023
In times of peace as well as conflict, humor has served Algerians as a tool of both unification and division. Humor has also assisted Algerians of various backgrounds and ideological leanings with engaging critically in power struggles throughout the country's contemporary history.
By analyzing comedic discourse in various forms (including plays, jokes, and cartoons), Humor and Power in Algeria, 1920 to 2021 (Indiana UP, 2023) demonstrates the globally informed and creative ways that civilians have made sense of moments of victory and loss through humor. Using oral interviews and media archives in Arabic, French, and Tamazight, Elizabeth M. Perego expands on theoretical debates about humor as a tool of resistance and explores the importance of humor as an instrument of war, peace, and social memory, as well as a source for retracing volatile, contested pasts.
Humor and Power in Algeria, 1920 to 2021 reveals how Algerians have harnessed humor to express competing visions for unity in a divided colonial society, to channel and process emotions surrounding a brutal war of decolonization and the forging of a new nation, and to demonstrate resilience in the face of a terrifying civil conflict.
Elizabeth M. Perego is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Appalachian State University. Her work has appeared in the Journal of North African Studies and the International Journal of Middle East Studies.
Tugrul Mende holds an M.A in Arabic Studies. He is based in Berlin as a project coordinator and independent researcher.