International Conference on The Rif in Non-Colonial/Travel Narratives: Language, Culture and Identity

2019-05-03 2019-05-04

Mohammed I University - Multidisciplinary Faculty of Nador - Department of English Studies and Laboratory of Society, Discourse and Trans-Disciplinarity organize An International Conference on The Rif in Non-Colonial/Travel Narratives: Language, Culture and Identity


Venue: Conferences Room

As has been frequently declared, the Orient, in general, has always attractively enchanted the European writers, travelers, and diplomats; it has enormously enthused their inquisitiveness and curiosity. It has incontrovertibly upstretched their hungriness for exploration. It had been literarily constructed and textually represented as the most mysterious, mystic and magnificent space; a zone that inexorably needs to be discovered, uncovered and defined through a certain colonial/imperial perceptiveness. Within this frame of mind, the Orientalist Western literary canon urged writers /travelers/diplomats to literarily portray the through orientalist representations, colonial expeditions and systematic colonial discourse(s). Correspondingly, the issue of Otherness is massively omnipresent in Western travel texts to nurture the already established conventional racial representations. In this context, exoticism and debunking the mysteries of the Orient as a space and as a time are the main textual and literary concerns of the Western orientalist writings.

The northern region of Morocco, or the Rif, is an exemplary context in which the interaction between the orient and the occident could be best studied and understood. The Rif remains a fertile subject of study given its particular history and cultural uniqueness. Thus, a number of questions continue to arise: What motivations lay behind exploring and representing the Rif as a distinct territorial space? To what extent is the traveling writer faithful to the reality of the Rif context?  Does the representation of the Rif create and perpetuate a cultural gap between the Amazigh and the Arab people? How is the representation of these two ethnicities manifested in western and literary works? Is the flow of power in the representation of the Rif monodirectional?  Is the Western travelling writer influenced by the phenomenon he observes? Is the representation of the Rif a form of political control? How various and diverse are the Western representations of the Rif?

These questions, among others, indicate that space is not merely a geographical location but is a distinct milieu with geopolitical implications and ramifications. It is theoretically defined as experiential, conceptual and phenomenological experience in that it is frequently redefined and reconceived through power relations that allow places to be demarcated and claimed. For instance, Western writers such as Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, George Orwell, and Jack Kerouac captured a sense of the Rif as a context that is worth studying. To foster the understanding of how the Rif has been represented by western writers, this international conference hopes to provoke thought and critical insights into the following areas:

  • The portrayal of the  Rif region in non-colonial-Western Literature;
  • The depiction of Amazigh people in the western travel accounts;
  • The textual presence of the Rif region in western  writings;
  • Social diplomacy and the description of the Rif region;
  • Linguistic processes (phonological, morphological, syntactic,…) of Amazigh Language;
  • Tarifit in the Amazigh textbook
  • Language and literature
  • Language and popular culture
  • Culture and identity in the Rif region
  • Cultural mediation and history/ historical anthropology
  • Value of cultural mechanisms (film, theatre, music, crafts, sport, art, architecture, cultural collections, museums, memorials, ceremonies, media, rituals and symbols) in the Rif.

Keynote Speaker:

 Dr. Nourddine AMROUS, Mohamed V University, Rabat.

Organizing Committee Members:

Mohamed BELBACHA, Jaouad MOUMNI, Jaouad RADOUANI, Lahbib LAMRID, Aziz ASKITOU, Amina HADDADI, Farah BAOUCH,   Hassan BANKHAKEIA, Boujamaa EL KOUY,  Ahlam LAMJAHDI,  Sanae YACHOU, Najat ZERROUKI, EL Houssaein FARHAD, Fatima CHAFYQ, Abdellah AZOUAGH, Mouman CHICAR, Sallem EL AZOUZI, Brahim EL FIDA, Kaoutar GANNOUN

Scientific Committee Members:

Mohamed BELBACHA, Jaouad RADOUANI,  Jaouad MOUMNI, Fatima CHAFYQ, Lahbib LAMRID, Aziz ASKITOU, Amina HADDADI,  Farah BAOUCH,  Boujamaa EL KOUY,  Ahlam LAMJAHDI, Brahim EL FIDA

Conference Coordinator:

Boujamaa EL KOUY

Abstract Submission

Abstracts should be submitted electronically by April 20th 2019. They should be addressed to the following email address:


 Proposal Papers:

Kindly submit a 300-word abstract, providing:

  • Title of presentation,
  • First name,
  • Surname,
  • Affiliation,
  • E-mail address,
  • Telephone,
  • Fax if applicable,
  • A short biography.

 -The abstract should be written in English.

-The title of paper should be written in bold capital letters, size 14, and center -positioned and single space.

-Abstracts should be no more than one page

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