David Fieni gives invited talk at Penn State lecture series

David Fieni (French) gave a lecture at the Penn State Comparative Literature Luncheon series on April 1. His presentation, “Dreyfus in Algeria: Dis-integrating the Semitic Object,” examined the Dreyfus Affair as it played itself out in Algeria in the final years of the 19th century.  The talk explored the ways that France exported anti-Semitism to the colonies in order to manipulate Algerian Muslims and Jews, and exacerbate tensions between them.

In his talk, Fieni brought together archival research done at the French National Library, demonstrating how law, journalism, visual arts, literature, and philology all contributed to the disintegration of the figure of the “Semite” into Jew and Arab in France’s most prized colony.