Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

John B. Romeiser

Committee Members

Rudyard J. Alcocer, Derek H. Alderman, Nuria Cruz Camara


This dissertation examines the novels of Emmanuel Roblès (1914-1995) with a focus on Jeunes saisons and Saison violente and those of Maïssa Bey (1950-present) with an emphasis on Pierre Sang Papier ou Cendre and Bleu blanc vert. My dissertation builds on science and literature to analyze forms of cultural heritage in colonial and postcolonial Algeria. By examining the literary works of Roblès and Bey, I demonstrate that they explore cultural heritage through the lenses of superimposition – a common technique in medicine where new images are placed over an existing image to detect changes. I argue that the superimposition method employed by Roblès and Bey allows for new images of cultural heritage created by child-like narratives to be placed over monolithic images promoted by adult-like narratives. Thus, this superimposition technique complicates oversimplified images of cultural heritage. When addressing cultural heritage, I focus on language, customs and architecture since language allows for customs to be transmitted from generation to generation, and, in turn, customs are influenced by the landscape of a country. While previous scholarly work has studied the topic of cultural heritage in the novels of Bey and Roblès, it has not explored the superimposition method that both authors employ to address the controversy of cultural heritage in Algeria.

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