Olivia C. HarrisonAssistant Professor of French and Italian
Phone: (213) 740-0104
Office: THH 153
Department of French and Italian
Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture
Middle East Studies Program
- Ph.D. French and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 5/2010
- M.Phil. French and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2/2007
- M.A. French, Columbia University, 10/2005
- B.A. French and Linguistics, Oxford University, 6/2002
Description of Research
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Olivia C. Harrison’s research focuses on postcolonial North African and French literature and cross-colonial affiliations between Maghrebi and Third World writers and artists. Her current book project, tentatively titled “Cross-Colonial Poetics: Reading Palestine in Maghrebi Literature,” analyzes the representation of Palestine in Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian literary works from the 1960s to the present, and argues that the turn to Palestine in the Maghreb intersected with a reflection on the forms and languages of postcolonial North African literature and culture. She is simultaneously working on a second book project that charts the emergence of the Palestinian question in France, both in political and intellectual discourses and in artistic works. Without neglecting key figures such as Jean Genet and Jean-Luc Godard, this book will lend central importance to Franco-Maghrebi, Beur, and banlieue mediations of the question of Palestine in France, examining in particular the triangulation of the interlinked histories of France and Algeria via Palestine. Olivia Harrison also translates North African literary and scholarly works. She is currently co-editing a translation of selected texts from the Moroccan journal "Souffles-Anfas," and has translated several seminal essays by the late Moroccan philosopher Adbelkebir Khatibi.
Maghrebi and Beur/banlieue literature; diversity in postcolonial France; the historiography and memory of colonization in France and Algeria; women and war in the Middle East and North Africa; anti- and postcolonial theory; translation.
Conferences and Other Presentations
- "'La banlieue est lointaine de la Palestine': Performing Palestine in Contemporary France", Talk/Oral Presentation, Columbia University, Invited, Fall 2011
- "Transcolonial Poetics: The Figure of Palestine in _Souffles-Anfas_", Modern Language Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Spring 2011
- "Collective Memory and Multidirectional Resistance in Assia Djebar’s _Le blanc de l’Algérie_ and _Oran, langue morte_", "Rethinking Resistance", Talk/Oral Presentation, Emory University, Spring 2007
- "Telling Catastrophe After Oslo: The Politics of Memory in Elias Khoury’s _Bab Al-Shams_", American Comparative Literature Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Spring 2007
- "Mother Tongue, Other Tongue: Bi-Langue, Anamnesis and the Figure of Woman in Abdelkébir Khatibi’s _Amour bilingue_", Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Fall 2006
- "Tales from Palestine", roundtable panel, Tribute Gallery, Portland, OR, Fall 2010
- Harrison, O. C. (2013). Rethinking "Jews" and "Arabs" Through Palestine: Transcolonial Perspectives on Maghrebi Literature. Contemporary French and Francophone Studies: SITES. pp. pp. 17-27.
- Harrison, O. C. (2012). Staging Palestine in France-Algeria: Popular Theater and the Politics of Transcolonial Comparison. Social Text. Vol. 112, pp. 27-47.
- Harrison, O. C. (2009). "Resistances of Literature: Strategies of Narrative Affiliation in Etel Adnan’s _Sitt Marie Rose_". Postcolonial Text. Vol. 5 (2)
Honors and Awards
- Grand Marnier Fellowship, 2007-2008
- Foreign Languages and Area Studies Fellowship in Arabic, 2005-2006
- Peter H. Kaufman Fellowship, 2005-2006