AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number2.  May 2022                              Pp.196-208

Algerian Children’s Literature: From the Labyrinth of Colonialism to the Cornucopia of Postcolonialism


Department of English
Faculty of Letters and Languages
University of Relizane, Algeria
Corresponding Author:


Non-Western children’s literature has received significant attention in the past few decades. African and Arab children’s literature is not the exception to this surge in interest. However, the countries and communities denominated as African or Arab encompass heterogeneous communities and ethnicities. African children’s literature often refers to literature in Central and Southern African countries, and Arab children’s literature is often Middle-eastern, leaving the genre underexplored in many countries part of both. This article is a precursory sketch of children’s and young adult literature in Algeria, tackling the question of the idiosyncrasies of the genre from a cultural-historical perspective. It exposes the substantial historical and linguistic factors that denied the genre of an organic metamorphosis. With 130 years of French colonization, intensive acculturation policies, and the astounding illiteracy rate among Algerians, the post-colonial Algerian government devoted efforts to tending to the wounds and the trauma deeply inflected by the French. The endeavor to restore the Algerian identity made children’s literature its first and most indispensable outlet of the process, similar to how it served as a resistance front during the colonial period. The article concludes by addressing the place of Algerian children’s literature on the international scale, the meager yet increasing scholarship interested in this research area, and recommendations for an open, ideology-free conversation between all parties involved in children’s literature production, circulation, and consumption to yield an auspicious trajectory for the future of the genre. Thus, the paper conduces to scholarship on African and Arab children’s literature.

Cite as:

AISSA ASSIA, A.  (2022).Algerian Children’s Literature: From the Labyrinth of Colonialism to the Cornucopia of Postcolonialism. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (2) 196-208.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol6no2.15


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Amina Aissa Assia is an assistant teacher in the department of English at the University of Relizane, Algeria. She has a BA in Spanish (2010), an MA in French, Teaching French as a Foreign Language, Contextualization and Pedagogical Innovation (2016), and a Magister in English (2017). She is currently reading for her Ph.D. in Discourse Analysis and Literary Stylistics. Her research interests include cognitive poetics, literary discourse analysis, children’s and young adult literature, and stylistics.