Michelle Perrot, Wassyla Tamzali

Conversations Publication date : October 13, 2021

Michelle Perrot is a historian, emeritus professor of contemporary history at the Paris-Diderot University, and a French feminist and activist. Her pioneering work makes her one of the great figures in women’s history. She is co-editor with Georges Duby of L’Histoire des femmes en Occident [The History of Women in the West].
Wassyla Tamzali is a writer, essayist, and Algerian feminist and activist. A lawyer and former director of women’s rights at UNESCO, she is a founding member of the Collectif Maghreb Égalité and works for understanding among peoples of the Mediterranean.

This book is a conversation between two eminent intellectuals, a French historian and an Algerian writer, both committed feminists. Their exchanges deal with subjects that arise in intellectual debates and engage French society: the place of women; the France-Algeria question; the notion of the universal. Can one speak of resiliency with regard to Algerians? What are the conditions for it? Resiliency or reparation? What to do about the past that haunts the present? How to go from traumatism to history? How can we maintain difference and the universal? How can we consider differences?...

A rich and profound exchange that shows the urgency of these questions, and which also tackles crucial subjects: the complexity of the relationship to language in Algeria; the relationship between memory and history; male domination; the weight of religions; feminism and the lively debates that animate it.

This very rich text sheds light on current debates and reasserts the role of history and the unconditional necessity for it to enable societies to advance…