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Marnia Lazreg

Biography

Academic and Professional Background

Marnia Lazreg received a Licence-ès-Lettres in English with three distinctions from the University of Algiers, Algeria, and an MA and Ph.D in Sociology from New York University. Before joining the City University of New York in 1988, she taught at a number of private colleges, including Sarah Lawrence, Hampshire College and the New School for Social Research.

She is the recipient of residential fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study (2005-06); the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Italy (April-May 2005); the Bunting Institute (1985-86); and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University (1984-85).

She lectured extensively at home and around the world on development, gender, and the geopolitics of Islam. She held gender and development workshops in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. In 1991, she was elected chair of the international Seminar on Women and Development organized the United Nations office in Vienna, Austria. In 1993, she carried out a rapid rural appraisal of agrarian development and gender in Southern Syria for the United Nations Development Program. In 1999-2002, she served as co-coordinator of the African Multinational Women’s Research Group, sponsored by the Council on the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Africa Development, as well as Feminist Africa, Cape Town, South Africa.

In 1998-2000, she joined the World Bank where she served as Gender Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia as well as chair of the Law and Development Thematic Group. In this capacity, she carried out and supervised research on poverty and rural to urban migrants in Turkey; and the impact of economic privatization on women in Hungary, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation.

She has contributed articles to the local press in Algeria (Le Quotidien d’Oran), and gave a number of interviews on television or radio, including CNN (1995), Vietnamese television (1992), Russian radio in Kaluga, KPFK (Radio Pacifica, 2004; 2005; 2006), WBAI and NPR.

Professor Lazreg’s research interests stem from her desire to unravel the epistemological, cultural and political constructions of non-European social formations as mediated by colonial ventures, and more contemporary forms of domination. An incurable theorist, she cannot dispense with field work as well as archival research. In addition to gender and development, she is interested in cultural movements (especially the Kabyle-Berber movement in Algeria); French colonial history and empire studies; the philosophy of the absurd as used by Albert Camus; biotechnology; Islam and politics; torture and identity; and postmodernist theory. She has just completed a manuscript on "Twilight of Empire, Torture and Identity" that will be published by Princeton University Press.

Publications

Books and Monographs

Torture and the Twilight of EmpireTorture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad

Editor, Making the Transition Work for Women in Europe and Central Asia, World Bank Discussion Paper No. 411, Washington DC, 2000

The Eloquence of Silence: Algerian Women in Question, Routledge, 1994

The Emergence of Classes in Algeria: A Study of Colonialism and Socio-Political Change, Westview Press: Boulder, Colorado, 1976. A revised edition appeared in Arabic translated in 1977

 

 

Selected Chapters in Books

“Development: Feminist Theory’s Cul-de-Sac,” in Kriemild Saunders ed., Feminist Post-Development Thought, Zed Press, 2002

"Decolonizing Feminism," in Kum Kum Bhavnani ed., Feminism and Race, Oxford University Press, 2001. Also in Oyeronke Oyewumi, ed. African Gender Studies. A Reader. Palgrave/Macmillan, 2004

"Gender and Citizenship in Algeria," in Suad Joseph, ed., Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East, Syracuse University Press, 2000

"The Triumphant Discourse of Global Feminism," in Going Global, Amal Amireh and Lisa Suhair Majaj, eds., Garland, 2000

"Women, Work, and Social Change in Algeria," in Sharon Stichter and J. Parpart, eds., Women, Work, and the Family in the International Division of Labor MacMillan, 1990

"Human Rights, State and Ideology: An Historical View" in A. Pollis and P. Schwab, eds., Human Rights: Cultural and Ideological Perspectives, Praeger, 1979

"The Kabyle-Berber Cultural Movement in Algeria" in P. Schwab and A. Pollis,eds., Toward a Human Rights Framework, Praeger,1982

"Islamism and the Recolonization of Algeria," Beyond Colonialism in the Maghrib, Ali A. Ahmida ed., St Martin's Press, 2000

Selected Articles

"Feminist Epistemology and Women's Experience: A Critical Neo-Rationalist Approach," in Margaret Whitford and K. Lennon, eds. Knowing The Difference: Feminist Perspectives in Philosophy Routledge, 1994

"Feminism and Difference: The Perils of Writing as a Woman on Women in Algeria," Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No 1, 1988, pp. 81-107. Also reprinted in Evelyn Fox Keller and Marianne Hirsch, eds.,Conflicts In Feminism, Routledge, 1991.pp.326-340. Translated into German in Silsila, Fall 1993

"Gender and Politics in Algeria: Unravelling the Religious Paradigm," Signs, Vol. 15, #4, 1989, pp.755-780

"Media and Cultural Dependency in Algeria," Studies of Broadcasting, No. 26, 1990 (Japan)

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