Jane Hiddleston - Author Insights

Posted on September 04, 2015 by Heather Gallagher
Jane Hiddleston, author of September's Free Read Friday title Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria expands on her work, the main arguments of her book and what marks Assia Djebar as one of the most important figures in North African literature. Read on to gain an exclusive insight from Hiddleston before downloading her book.
1. What prompted you to write this book?

I’ve always found Djebar’s works compelling, and even though at the time I was also working on other things, I kept coming back to her. The combination of her focus on the broad scope of Algeria’s troubled history, together with highly intimate reflection on her personal life, means that her work is engaging to the reader on different levels at the same time. I was also fascinated by the ways in which her different texts work together and interact with one another, so that a proper understanding of what she’s doing really comes only when you’ve got to grips with everything she wrote. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to do a single-author study as I thought publishers were moving away from that kind of thing, but I ended up writing it all the same because I loved Djebar’s work.


2. What is the main argument of the book? 

I called the book Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria because I was focusing on the way in which the texts depict the author’s preoccupation with her country, even though latterly she lived in the US and France. Djebar explores various moments in the history of Algeria but she also evokes a sense of non-belonging, and her characters are also often fugitives who question the notion of a secure origin or homeland. At the same time, I wanted to situate Djebar in relation to postcolonial theory and contemporary philosophies of subjectivity and community. I argued that she set out to challenge the idea that national culture provided a specific identity, and showed how her characters represent instead a diverse, plural Algeria while also emphasising the importance of genealogy and of dialogue across different groups and periods.


3. What marks Assia Djebar out as being ‘one of the most important figures in North African literature’?

I’d say it’s a combination of the intellectual sophistication, the historical scope, and the formal inventiveness of her writing. Djebar is a great writer because she asks important questions about ethics and politics; she also seeks to uncover the blind-spots in our documented knowledge of Algeria and to reveal the deceptiveness of colonial as well as nationalist ideology; and her writing has a poetry and linguistic sophistication that is quite unique. Her importance in France was recognised when she was elected as a member of the Académie française in 2005, and she has received a lot of attention in Europe and in the US. In Algeria, her status is a little more uneasy, as for some she is a truly valuable monument in Algerian culture while others see her as somewhat distanced from contemporary life there. Nevertheless it’s clear that her work is of huge international significance.


4. Do you believe her work still has the same significance today, when many such writers describe themselves as ‘post-post-colonial’?

The meaning and significance of the ‘postcolonial’ is something that has been endlessly theorised and discussed. Whatever one thinks of the term, it seems to me to be entirely misguided to suggest that ‘postcolonialism’ is over. It is the legacy of colonialism that created contemporary Algeria, and the shape of the new regime is very much influenced by its difficult beginnings during the War of Independence. I don’t think Djebar would describe herself as ‘post-post-colonial’, as this would signal that something of that legacy was no longer relevant. At the same time, though, I think that Djebar is also still relevant because she didn’t write exclusively about French colonialism and its aftermath, but also about political tensions affecting Algeria in particular during the 1990s (for example in Le Blanc de l’Algérie or Oran, langue morte). And these might tell us something about the rise of Islamism elsewhere, as does her work on the origins of Islam in Loin de Médine. Finally, it would be reductive to assume that the significance of a writer is determined by her political timeliness. Djebar’s work is enormously important because of its extraordinary poetic quality and because of its philosophical depth.



You can download the ebook version of Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria free until midnight using code FreeReadFriday from the Liverpool University Press website. 

For more information and instructions of how to download - see here: liverpooluniversitypress.com/FreeReadFriday

For updates check our twitter:

@LivUniPress #FreeReadFriday

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Free Read Friday - Assia Djebar

Posted on September 02, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

Congratulate yourself; you’re getting the hang of this. But if it is still your first #FreeReadFriday download, don’t panic… we’ve crafted some instructions for you below.


September has gifted us with Jane Hiddleston’s Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria.

For 24 hours this Friday, you can download the ebook version of this title free of charge.


For more than fifty years, Assia Djebar, former Silver Chair of French at New York University and winner of the Neustadt Prize for Contribution to World Literature, used the tools of poetry, fiction, drama and film to vividly portray the world of Muslim women in all its complexity. In the process, she became one of the most important figures in North African literature. In Assia Djebar, Jane Hiddleston traces Djebar’s development as a writer against the backdrop of North Africa’s tumultuous history. Whereas Djebar’s early writings were largely an attempt to delineate clearly the experience of being a woman, an intellectual, and an Algerian embedded in that often violent history, she had in her more recent work evinced a growing sense that the influence of French culture on Algerian letters may make such a project impossible. The first book-length study of this significant writer, Assia Djebar will be of tremendous interest to anyone studying post-colonial literature, women’s studies or Francophone culture in general. 

‘…an impressive overview of the literary output of one of Algeria's most prolific writers. This study constitutes an indispensable resource for scholars and students alike with an interest in Djebar or, indeed, Algerian postcolonial literature generally.’ -- MLR, 103.1

‘The excellence of Hiddleston's research and writing bears testimony to a fine intelligence that promises an answer to come.’ -- International Journal of Francophone Studies, Volume 11, Numbers 1 & 2

‘Performing an original and productive cross-fertilization between postcolonial (and, on occasion, Islamic) thought, and French theories of subjectivity, Hiddleston comprehensively treats the formidable body of Djebar's work...very important contribution to scholarship on Francophone literature.' -- Francophone Postcolonial Studies, 5.2


Follow the instructions below to begin the download of your Free Read Friday title.


How to download Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria by Jane Hiddleston:

  1. Go to our website: liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/AssiaDjebar/ebook  
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code where prompted, entering FreeReadFriday and click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!) here:adobe.com/uk/products/digital-editions/download.html
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once set up is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of Assia Djebar to begin reading
  12. Enjoy! 



 - Remember to check our twitter for updates on next month's #FreeReadFriday, special author insights and latest publications - @LivUniPress -




Previous #FreeReadFriday titles have included:

The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 by Mike Ashley


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MLO Call for Papers

Posted on August 19, 2015 by Chloe Johnson

Last year Liverpool University Press was proud to announce the official launch of Modern Languages Open (MLO), a groundbreaking new peer-reviewed, open access platform for the modern languages.

Focusing on interdisciplinarity across the modern languages and engagement with other fields from a modern languages perspective, MLO offers rigorous peer review pre-publication and post-publication interactivity, rapid turnaround from submission to publication, Gold Open Access under a CC-BY or CC-BY-NC licence, rewards for article reviewers, flexibility on article length from 3,000-15,000 words, and international dissemination under the imprimatur of a university press.


Call for Papers (Early Career Researchers)

From August through to December 2015, LUP is offering an APC waiver for the best papers submitted from early career researchers.  Papers will be judged by the MLO Section Editors. 

The APC waiver is facilitated through the generosity of LUP authors, participating in the LUP Authors Fund, which is match funded by LUP.

Visit the Modern Languages Open website and click on the Online Submissions guidelines to view detailed instructions for authors.

For more information on MLO visit: http://www.modernlanguagesopen.org/


Clare Hooper, Journals Publishing Manager

Liverpool University Press

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Alien. Blanketeers. CrossRail. Disability. Eugenics. F, G, H, I, J, Kudos!

Posted on August 18, 2015 by Chloe Johnson

What does the representation of disability in museums today have to do with nineteenth-century protest marches by British blanket makers? What does sculpture in the Ottoman Empire have to do with the differences between comic book horror vs film horror in the 1990s? What does eugenics have to do with railway routes?


Probably not much beyond the fact that they are all topics that have been published by Liverpool University Press, and explained and shared via Kudos. The two organizations have been working together for a bit over a year now to help researchers increase the visibility, reach and impact of their published work by explaining and sharing it. It typically takes 15 minutes for researchers to do this, and Kudos' pilot study found that publications for which the Kudos toolkit had been used had 19% higher usage than those for which the tools were not used.


What’s involved?


Authors are invited to use the platform at www.growkudos.com to explain their work, by adding plain language descriptions of what it is about and why it is important, along with links to related materials that provide further insight, context or detail. You can also tell the story behind the research with a personal “perspective” - perhaps explaining your overall interest in the field, or commenting on how your views have evolved since this particular publication appeared. These explanatory statements can attract potential readers searching for terms that might not otherwise be in the “formal” publication, and they help a wider audience to understand the work and its potential relevance to their own studies or research.


Authors can also use Kudos as a central platform from which to share their work. However you typically let others know about your publications - whether by email, social media, academic networks, or other websites - you can use trackable links generated for you by Kudos to gain a better understanding of which of these options is most effectively increasing readership of your work.


This is because Kudos brings together a range of performance metrics to help you measure the effect of your communications. We uniquely map your explaining and sharing activities against clicks, views, downloads, citations and altmetrics so that you can easily see which activities are improving which metrics. This helps you make the most of your limited time for outreach by giving you a clear indication of where to focus your efforts – Facebook or Twitter, ResearchGate or Academia.edu, email or blogs - and so on.


How does Liverpool University Press fit in?


Our partnership with publishers like the Press gives them insight into how, when and where researchers communicate about their publications. This enables them to amplify your sharing (for example, helping broaden the audience reached by retweeting), to repurpose the explanations you add (for example, in communications with the media), and to optimise their own communications (by learning at the aggregate level which platforms seem to generate most interest).


Who benefits?


As an author: you can help your work get in front of more people who might read and build on it, both within and beyond academia; using Kudos to manage your sharing enables both your publisher and institution to build on your efforts. You can save time, by learning which communication tools and networks to focus your efforts on. You can breathe new life into older work by adding text and links that show its continued relevance.


As a reader: about 60,000 researchers are currently signed up to explain and share their work via Kudos. As this grows, and plain language explanations become more widely available, it will also be quicker for you to skim more of the literature and filter down to the most relevant publications to which you want to devote reading time. Readers will therefore be able to digest more of the literature, in their own and in peripheral fields. Non-specialist readers already find it fascinating to explore Kudos and learn the stories behind a wide range of research.


How can I get involved?


Sign up today at www.growkudos.com and find one of your publications. We suggest you start with just one rather than finding everything in the first instance - let the toolkit show you what it can do for one publication, and then come back to find, explain and share others!


This blog post was written by Charlie Rapple, Co-Founder and Sales & Marketing Director of Kudos.


To get an idea of what an article's profile looks like, take a look at these examples:



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Free Read Friday – The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict

Posted on August 06, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

It’s time to add another LUP title to your Free Read Friday collection!

For 24 hours you can download our selected ebook title of the month for free by following the instructions listed a short scroll away.

Our chosen free ebook download for August is:

The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

This book examines memoir-writing by many of the key political actors in the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’ (1969–1998), and argues that memoir has been a neglected dimension of the study of the legacies of the violent conflict. It investigates these sources in the context of ongoing disputes over how to interpret Northern Ireland’s recent past. A careful reading of these memoirs can provide insights into the lived experience and retrospective judgments of some of the main protagonists of the conflict. The period of relative peace rests upon an uneasy calm in Northern Ireland. Many people continue to inhabit contested ideological territories, and in their strategies for shaping the narrative ‘telling’ of the conflict, key individuals within the Protestant Unionist and Catholic Irish Nationalist communities can appear locked into exclusive and self-justifying discourses. In such circumstances, while some memoirists have been genuinely self-critical, many others have utilised a post-conflict language of societal reconciliation in order to mask a strategy that actually seeks to score rhetorical victories and to discomfort traditional enemies. Memoir-writing is only one dimension of the current ad hoc approach to ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, but in the absence of any consensus regarding an overarching ‘truth and reconciliation’ process, this is likely to be the pattern for the foreseeable future. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of a major resource for understanding the conflict.

‘A short yet comprehensive account of Troubles-related memoir that can benefit anyone who wants to read about Northern Ireland’s recent history.
Malachi O'Doherty, The Irish Times
‘Written in a clear, uncluttered style, this is an important work that provides the first comprehensive analysis of the importance of memoir in understanding the conflict
in Northern Ireland.
Professor Henry Patterson, University of Ulster


We are especially delighted to give you a little something extra this month too with the addition of an author Q&A, which you can read exclusively here: liverpooluniversitypress.com/blogs/news/45124229-stephen-hopkins-author-insights 


Follow the instructions below to begin the download and to start enjoying your Free Read Friday. 


How to download The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins:

  1. Go to our website:http://liverpooluniversitypress.com/products/61753
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code where prompted, entering FreeReadFridayand click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!) here:http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/digital-editions/download.html
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once set up is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict to begin reading
  12. Enjoy!



 - Look out for updates on our next #FreeReadFriday @LivUniPress -


Previous titles have included:

Mike Ashley’s The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950.

Continue reading →

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