A few weeks ago, we opened a new exhibition in the Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics library, relating to a collection of 1870-71 caricatures held in the University Library. This project was highly collaborative, involving librarians, academic staff and students. It followed an exhibition held at the UL last year and started with translations of the text and legends of French caricatures into English.
Tag Archives: French history
Three inspirational women for International Women’s Day
We previously published a blogpost about Cambridge University Library’s French acquisitions in relation to Women’s History Month. For International Women’s Day, we would like to shed light on three inspirational women featured in recent French language publications. Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier was a photographer, a Communist and a resistante. Uyaïnim was a member of the Jivaroan peoples in Peruvian Amazonia who fought for indigenous and women’s rights, and Nina Bouraoui is a Franco-Algerian writer whose works address question of identity and homosexuality.
Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier was a reporter and photographer, a resistant and Communist politician. She came from a liberal bourgeois family, daughter of Lucien Vogel, editor of the magazine Vu, and of Cosette de Brunhoff, sister of the creator of Babar and of the editor of Vogue. A pioneer woman photographer, she travelled to Germany in 1933 and was the first to photograph the camps of Oranienbourg and Dachau. She met a friend of her father, Paul Vaillant-Couturier, editor of communist newspaper L’Humanité, and became his partner, marrying him shortly before his death in 1937. During the war, she contributed to clandestine publications and worked as a messenger for the resistance. She was arrested in 1942 and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and then Ravensbrück. She returned to France in June 1945, testified at the Nuremberg trials in 1946 and became a Communist member of parliament. She has been the subject of two biographies :
- Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier : une femme engagée, du PCF au procès de Nuremberg / Dominique Durand, Balland, 2012.
- On l’appelait Maïco : Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier, la révoltée / Yseult Williams, Bernard Grasset, 2021. C206.d.8481
Uyaïnim, or Albertina Nanchijam Tuwits, from the Awajun / Aguaruna people (part of the Jivaroan peoples) in Peruvian Amazonia, became a spokeswoman for indigenous rights and the defense of women. Her memoirs are written through a collaboration with ethnologist Hélène Collongues. They speak of years of pressure put on the land and Amazonian indigenous people by the farmers and colonisers; the suspicion towards and failure of development projects; as well as the discrimination and deculturation faced by native people through educational missions. The narrative also exposes issues within patriarchal indigenous societies, from internal divisions and warfare to exploitation of and violence against women, also highlighting the corruption brought by the introduction of money and greed within these communities.
- Uyaïnim, Mémoires d’une femme jivaro / Hélène Collongues, Arles : Actes Sud, 2022, C219.c.2205
Nina Bouraoui was born from an Algerian father and a Breton mother. Her novels deal with questions of memory, identity, homosexuality, and nostalgia for Algeria, where she lived until she was a teenager. She was distinguished as Commandeure de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of Culture in 2018, and since the 2010s has been the subject of a number of critical studies.
- Beaux rivages, JC Lattès, 2016, C204.d.9787
- Tous les hommes désirent naturellement savoir, JC Lattès, 2018, C206.d.1617 (All men want to know / Nina Bouraoui ; translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins. London : Viking, 2020 & 2021, LSF)
- Otages, JC Lattès, 2020, C206.d.6938
- Satisfaction, JC Lattès, 2021, C206.d.7485
Critical studies :
- Rabiaa Marhouch. Nina Bouraoui : la tentation de l’universel. Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2023, 739:47.c.202.1
- Belgacem Belarbi, Nina Bouraoui, une nouvelle sensibilité littéraire, Sarrebruck, Editions Universitaires Européennes, 2022, C219.c.4993
- Myriam-Naomi Walburg. Zeit der Mehrsprachigkeit : literarische Strukturen des Transtemporalen bei Marica Bodrožić, Nina Bouraoui, Sudabeh Mohafez und Yoko Tawada. Würzburg, Ergon Verlag, 2017, C213.c.7656
- Rosie MacLachlan. Nina Bouraoui, Autofiction and the search for selfhood, Oxford ; New York, Peter Lang, 2016, 735:44.c.201.92
- Kirsten Husung. Hybridité et genre : chez Assia Djebar et Nina Bouraoui, L’Harmattan, 2014, C209.c.4543
- Mokhtar Atallah. Études littéraires algériennes : Albert Camus, Nina Bouraoui, Boualem Sansal, Ahmed Kalouaz, L’Harmattan, 2012, C207.c.1905
New e-resource: Que s’est-il passé le…? Consultez Retronews
Electronic Collection Management
We are delighted to announce Cambridge University now has full access to “le site de presse de la BnF”, Retronews.
Cambridge students and academics have been interested in Retronews since its inception in 2016, but with full subscription access now following a successful extended trial at the end of 2022, our insights into centuries of French history may now deepen and flourish.
For an excellent introduction to this new resource please see the European Languages Across Borders promotion that describes Retronews in detail.
Retronews subscription provides access to the full, unabbreviated versions of the articles plus long-form research articles. The earliest title, La Gazette de Theophraste Renaudot, dates back to 1631. Retronews adds newly digitized archives to the site each week and Cambridge now contributes to fund the growth of the digitization. The majority of the newspapers were published between 1881 (the passing of press freedom law) and…
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New E-Resource – Le Monde, 1944-2000
Electronic Collection Management
We are pleased to announce that Le Monde, 1944-2000 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) is now available to Cambridge University members.
The historical archive of Le Monde, considered one of the newspapers of record for France and one of the best-known and most influential publications in the world, is an invaluable resource for exploring the history and culture of France from 1944 to 2000.
Le Monde was created at the request of General Charles de Gaulleas the German army was vacating Paris during World War II. At a timewhen other Parisian newspapers were accused of Nazi sympathies or other political alliances, Le Monde was established for its political independence, and has been ever since. Le Monde is also renowned for its balance in coverage, deep analysis of historical events, and focus on journalistic quality and high intellectual standards.
With cover-to-cover full-page images, article-level indexing and searchable text, users can retrieve all…
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Stanisława Przybyszewska; the Awful Warning.
Stanisława Przybyszewska was a Polish writer and dramatist who was born in Kraków in 1901, and was most widely known for her burning interest in the French Revolution. This was immortalised in her trilogy of revolutionary plays: Dziewięćdziesiąty Trzeci (Ninety-third), Sprawa Dantona (The Danton Case), and Thermidor, which were often published together after her death in one volume, Dramaty (e.g. 758:53.d.95.725).