The Hara, or ghetto, is a place that distinguishes its inhabitants from other religious and cultural groups, acting as a spatial indicator of their difference. When Foucault’s theory of heterotopia is applied, the Hara becomes a hybrid, a place simultaneously of crisis and of deviation. In Albert Memmi’s La statue de sel, the protagonist experiences the Hara as antagonistic, or as a dystopia. In Nine Moati’s Les belles de Tunis, the protagonist experiences the Hara as a utopia.

Bio Note

Debbie Barnard teaches French at Tennessee Tech University. Her research deals mainly with francophone Tunisian literature; she has published or presented studies of Albert Memmi, Gilbert Naccache, Hélé Béji, and Claude Kayat, among others. She is currently at work on a study of the medina in Tunisian literature.

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