Meryem Belkaïd

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

Meryem Belkaïd

Contact Information
Romance Languages and Literatures

Sills Hall - 204

Teaching this semester

AFRS 2412/FRS 2410/LAS 2210. Literature, Power, and Resistance

Examines questions of power and resistance as addressed in the literary production of the French-speaking world from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. Examines how language and literature serve as tools for both oppression and liberation during periods of turmoil: political and social revolutions, colonization and decolonization, the first and second world wars. Authors may include Hugo, Sand, Sartre, Fanon, Senghor, Yacine, Beauvoir, Condé, Césaire, Djebar, Camus, Modiano, Perec, and Piketty. Students gain familiarity with a range of genres and artistic movements and explore the myriad ways that literature and language reinforce boundaries and register dissent. Taught in French.

FRS 3214. French and Francophone Crime Fiction as History

Examines French and Francophone crime fiction (novels, short stories, graphic novels, films) whose events question the past, not only of the victim, investigator, or suspect, but also of the society in which the crime has taken place. Explores texts and films in French that actively engage with the history of war, occupation, colonization, and decolonization, and examines their potential to foster social transformation and political revolution. Writers and filmmakers may include Yasmina Khadra, Driss Chraïbi, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Patrick Modiano, Didier Daeninckx, Michel Del Castillo, Tonino Benacquista, and Costa Gavras. Conducted in French.


  • M.A.-equivalent (Sciences Po, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris)
  • M.A.-equivalent, Ph.D. (Paris-Sorbonne Nouvelle)

Research Interests

  • 20th and 21st century French and Francophone literature
  • Crime fiction
  • Crime fiction in authoritarian regimes
  • Popular Culture
  • North African Francophone Writers
  • Sociology and literature
  • Literature and globalization
  • Colonial narratives

Teaching Interests

  • French Language, Culture, and Society
  • North African Literature, History and Culture
  • Film Studies
  • Representations
  • Contemporary France through the Media
  • History and literature
  • Popular Culture.

 Seminars Taught

  • French Crime Fiction as History. 


« Paradigme indiciaire et identities. Le roman maghrébin francophone contemporain : une variation originale du genre policier ? », in Fixxion, Revue de Fixxion française contemporaine, Le Roman policier Français contemporain, n°10, 2015.

« Les paysages insaisissables de la fiction policière, miroirs d’une société en quête de repères », in Lendemains, chorégraphies du paysage littéraire, avril 2012.

« Du néopolar au rom-pol », in Temps Noir, Jean-Patrick Manchette, n°11, mai 2008.

Work in Progress

Publication in the United States of French doctoral thesis, focused on the role of the individual in contemporary French crime fiction<

“Protect and Serve in Authoritarian regimes”, International Conference: Protect and Serve. University of Edinburg, 10 July, 2015.

“Les sœurs Papins, Raya et Sakina, Juliet Hulme et Pauline Parker. De la réalité à la fiction : duos, dualité, duplicité ou complicité?”, Criminelles : Colloque International. Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse, 24-25 April,  2015.

“Fading Landscapes in French Crime Fiction”, International Conference: Captivating criminality,  The University of Bath Spa, April 24th -26th, 2014.

“Les payasages dans le roman policier français contemporain”. Colloque International: Paysage, Europe et Mondialisation, Florence, Villa Finaly, May 2009

“ Du néo-polar au rompol”, Journée d’étude : Jean-Patrick Manchette, Un auteur hors série ?, Université de Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, February 2008.

“Benacquista et les arts”, Colloque International: Autour de Baudelaire et des Arts: Infini, Echos et Limites des correspondances, Université de Tunis, 5-6-7 April 2007.

Blog in French for the Huffington Post Algeria :

Blog in French about the Arab Spring

Articles in French about the Arab Spring