Time and Place: 1956: The Battle of Algiers (V1417)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

The starting point will be 30 September 1956 when four Algerian women placed bombs in the European quarter of Algiers - a key moment in the Battle of Algiers. The module will commence with the precise context for this action, namely the unfolding war in Algeria between the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the left-wing Republican Front government. It will examine the motivations for this violence and the particular involvement of the Algerian women in the anti-colonial struggle.

The course will then move on to consider the wider international context for the Algerian crisis. In this way 30 September 1956 will be related to:

  • the rise of pan-Arab nationalism encapsulated within Nasser's Egypt
  • British and French imperialisms expressed through the Suez Crisis
  • the Cold War confrontation in the Middle East and North Africa
  • the role of Israel in the Middle East
  • US foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa and the tensions this produced between the old colonial powers and the USA
  • the foundation of the EEC
  • splits within the left and the rise of the new left that criticised the USSR
  • the rise of the non-aligned movement
  • Americanisation and the Western European 'economic miracle'. 


48%: Lecture
52%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 24 hours of contact time and 126 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.