During his week-long visit to campus in the fall of 2012, Guénoun addressed what would become his two latest books. At first, the topics appeared unrelated. In Roberto Dainotto’s seminar, Guénoun presented “About Europe”, explaining how he came to conceive of the idea of Europe in the South – in the Magreb that is his birthplace. The subsequent reading from “A Semite”, and dialogue with his translators, Ann Smock, (University of California-Berkeley) and Bill Smock (independent film-maker) revealed his Algerian family history. It is a text ranging over the period from Vichy occupation, to the time of the Revolution through the necessary departure of Guénoun’s family from Oran to their arrival in Marseille.
Together these discussions highlighted the unity of Guénoun’s thinking : thinking about Europe in terms of the Southern Mediterranean, narrating it through the personal journey from Algeria to France.
A Semite, A Memoir of Algeria. Un Semite.
Columbia University press, May 2014 Circe, 2002