Melanie Henry (Post-Doc)

I graduated with a PhD in History from University of Aix-Marseille in 2018. My PhD thesis focused on revolutionary events in Alexandria, Egypt, during the 20th century. The political context of the fieldwork carried out between 2010 and 2015 in Egypt deeply influenced my approach of the revolutionary phenomenon as a moment “out of time”. This dissertation, entitled “The revolutionary « treasure »: uprisings and activisms in Alexandria in 1946 and 1977, Egypt” is thus an attempt to put in to history subjective experiences of time during extraordinary political moments such as revolutions.

It is mainly based on an oral enquiry, literature, press, and judiciary sources. Although my main interest remains the sensitive history of revolutionary moments, I moved my field of investigation to Algeria (20th century). Drawing on anthropological history, I’m pursuing my research on how ordinary people get involved into political action, and the various ways through which the past is made to become a part of the present. More specifically, I’m wondering how collective memories of hope fade, reappear, and get reinvented through bodies, families, and societies. Currently, I am based in Paris at the Centre d’histoire sociale du XXe siècle (University of Paris I).

Publication can be found here.