Susan Slyomovics, distinguished professor of anthropology and Near Eastern languages and cultures in the UCLA College, is completing her research fellowship at IMéRA, the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Aix-Marseilles.
During her fellowship, Slyomovics has been studying the history of France’s French colonial war memorials in Algeria. She is focusing specifically on the western Algerian town of Sidi-Bel-Abbès, headquarters and cradle of the French Foreign Legion until Algeria’s 1962 independence, to consider the design, uses, and histories of the town’s most prominent war memorial.
The French Foreign Legion was obliged to leave Sidi-Bel-Abbès following Algerian independence and relocate to Aubagne, France where they resurrected their Algerian square. Slyomovics’ research followed the monument from Algeria to France to investigate issues surrounding claims of an illegal removal.
Slyomovics has spent the fall writing and conducting research in the French Overseas Archive (Archives Outre-Mer) and the French Foreign Legion museum, all located outside Marseille. The fellowship program is part of the network of France’s Institutes of Advanced Studies.