Call for Papers
May 1958 in Corsica
Workshop on the events of May 1958 in France, Algeria and Corsica, co-organized by the journal Etudes Corses et Méditerranéennes / Studii Corsi è Mediterranii, jointly with the Centre de la Méditerranée Moderne et Contemporaine (Université de Nice – Sophia Antipolis) and UMR-Lisa (Lieux, Identités, eSpaces et Activités, Université de Corse – Pascal Paoli).
Corsica - Fall 2018
From May 24, 1958, to the end of June, Corsica espouses the insurrection led by French officers in Algeria to demand a change of regime. Operation Resurrection (the denomination given to the civil and military takeover of the island by Special Forces commanded from Algiers) is an immediate success. The weak resistance opposed by both the authorities and the population of this French Mediterranean department appears quite alarming to metropolitan authorities, Paris being supposed to be next in line for an identical operation.
Corsica’s move to rally Algiers’ Comité de Salut Public baffled the government, Président du Conseil Pierre Pflimlin declaring at the time : “Algerians’ disobedience is understandable, but Corsicans’ rebellion is inexcusable”. To this day, it remains incompletely documented and understood. What does it say of Corsica’s position in the French Empire, and especially of its relationship with Algeria, its nearest colonial neighbor, where so many Corsicans settled or spent their professional life as colonial soldiers and civil servants? How can one account for an enduring vision that tends to reduce these events to an “insurrection d’opérette” (a would-be insurrection) while specialists agree to acknowledge that it authentically worried the authorities of the Fourth Republic, whose local representatives (the préfet Marcel Savreux and local elected officials, as well as most local armed forces) were actually sidelined? Who exactly was behind this operation: were its designers in Algiers, in Corsica, or even in Paris? What was the objective it aimed at, and did it achieve its purpose? And finally, can one measure the consequences of these events, and more broadly of the process of decolonization, on the relationship between, Corsica, North Africa and Metropolitan France?
The organizing committee is interested in papers that study the military and administrative reactions, as well as public opinion through the press, oral history or any other source. The organizers are especially looking forward to presentations that offer a non-local (ideally non-French) perspective on the events. The workshop is open to both academics and students in order to gain new insights into this disregarded facet of the events that led to the fall of the Fourth French Republic, prompted General De Gaulle’s come-back into active politics and then government, and probably also altered the course of the Algerian War of Independence, as well as the fate of Corsica’s relationship with France.
Individual paper applications should include a 300-word abstract and CV. Applications in English are accepted, the workshop mainly used language however being French. The deadline to apply is September 1st, 2018. The organizers will cover travel and lodging expenses for participants.