Nadège Veldwachter

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2013/2014
discipline Literature
Associate Professor of Francophone Literatures, Purdue University

Research project

Repressed Memories and the Invention of National Histories


How would France’s history be rewritten by placing at its center what has been marginalized - ‘repressed memory’? This book project will address this daunting question through a comparative analysis of rarely studied cases in European historiography and francophone literature. The first case is the story of Black Francophone Caribbean victims of the Holocaust. Most scholars have consistently read efforts to construct a history of black victims of the Holocaust in terms of an African, Afro-German, and Afro-American negrophobia. While there have been some exceptions, this scholarship is insufficient to help our understanding of interrelated questions of history and memory in the geographical and rhetorical landscapes of the francophone world. I concentrate on this Caribbean experience under fascism and demonstrate that it encapsulates the tensions inherent in the models of citizenship and belonging that underwrite France’s relationship with the past. The second case study concerns the contentious conditions of publication and reception of the literary works born from the project, “Rwanda: écrire par devoir de mémoire.” [Rwanda: Writing in Duty of Memory]. By shedding light on the extreme censorship that Aimé Yann Mbabazi’s novel, Sheridan, encountered in the francophone literary circuits for delineating France’s implication in the Rwandan genocide, I will consider the ways in which literary and ideological concerns intersect and contradict one another. This study presents a shift in thinking about the possibilities and limits of ‘trauma literature’ in the creation of a national memory. In short, “Repressed Memories and the Invention of National Histories” creates innovative connections between literary texts, historical and military contexts in the growing body of research on legacies of war in France, Rwanda and the Caribbean.



Nadège Veldwachter is Associate Professor of Francophone Literatures in the School of Languages and Cultures, Purdue University. She holds a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


Her filds of specialisation are Post-Colonial Studies; French Cultural Studies; 20th and 21st Century French, Caribbean, African Literatures and Cultures; Sociology of Literature; Globalization Studies; Translation Studies; and Genocide Studies.

Selected publications


La littérature francophone face à sa mondialisation, Karthala, Paris, 2012.


‘Littérature française et littératures francophones: une union inconvenante?’, Fabula

- Littérature Histoire Théorie, 8, 2011. [online]


 ‘Charles-Robert Ageron entre mythe républicain et mythe impérial, une histoire des

mentalités manquée’, Modern Language Notes, vol. 125, no. 4, 2010, pp. 941-960.


‘Simone Schwarz-Bart, Maryse Condé and Raphaël Confiant in English Translation:

Texts and Margins’, Research in African Literatures, vol. 40, no. 2, 2009, pp. 228-239.


‘Les nouvelles expositions coloniales: quand les couvertures se dévoilent’, Nouvelles

Etudes Francophones, vol. 23, no. 2, 2008, pp. 262-275.


junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Archaeology
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Sociology
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Paris Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Psychology