Our Civilizing Mission

The Lessons of Colonial Education

Nicholas Harrison

£95.00
- +

ISBN: 9781786941763

Publication: April 30, 2019

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 60

Our Civilizing Mission is at once an exploration of colonial education, and a response to current anxieties about the historical and conceptual foundations of the ‘humanities’. On the one hand, focusing in detail on the example of Algeria, it treats colonial education as a facet of colonialism, exploring work by ‘colonized’ writers that attests to the suffering inflicted by colonialism, to the shortcomings of colonial education, and to the often painful mismatch between the world of the colonial school and students’ home cultures. On the other hand, it asks what can be learned by treating colonial education not just as an example of colonialism but as a provocative, uncomfortable example of education. Placing writers’ literary and personal accounts of their transformative and often alienating experiences of colonial education in historical context, it raises difficult questions – about languages, literatures, ways of thinking, nationalism and national cultures – that need to be reconsidered by anyone teaching subjects such as French, or English, especially through literature.

Nick Harrison is a Professor of French and Postcolonial Studies at King's College London.

Acknowledgements
Introduction Our Civilizing Mission
Chapter 1 Lessons from Said
Chapter 2 ‘Nos ancêtres les colons’
Chapter 3 Teaching in a Time of Crisis
Chapter 4 Unfamiliar Worlds
Chapter 5 French Lessons
Conclusion Education’s Impact
Bibliography
Index

'Our Civilizing Mission upends many of the basic assumptions that prevail in Francophone and Postcolonial Studies about colonial education. While many of us are familiar with extreme examples of colonial arrogance laid bare on the chalkboard, Harrison describes a decidedly more complex, and at times contradictory, web of relationships between and among the metropole, the colonizer, the school, and the colonized.'
Corbin Treacy, Florida State University
 

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

352 Pages

ISBN: 9781786941763

Publication: April 30, 2019

Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 60

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