146 REVIEWS approach is reﬂected in what is perhaps the boldest essay in the collection, Patricia Caille´’s analysis of ‘Algerian cinema’ as a category construct that, in her analysis, cannot respond to expectations, national and cinephilic, placed upon it. Indeed, this volume is perhaps at its most rewarding and powerful for both scholars of Algeria and scholars of other geographical regions, where it takes on a quasi-Saidian epistemological approach, warning off even enthusiastic mythologization. EDWARD JOHN STILL doi:10.1093/fs/knx278 UNIVERSITY OF SURREY Sexagon: Muslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture.ByMEHAMMED AMADEUS MACK. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017. 329 pp., ill. Blending cultural studies with literary and ﬁlm analysis, this ﬁrst book by Mehammed Amadeus Mack focuses on the interaction between North African immigration, Muslim religious background, gender, and sexuality in contemporary French culture. Mack’s re- search provides a necessary complement to pathologizing ethno-sociological discourses on the Arabic diaspora in the French suburbs. Mack demonstrates that, beyond cliche´s such as the ‘heterosexist virility’ (p. 7) of Franco-Arab male youth posited to threaten both women and LGBTQ rights, gender ﬂuidity and queer identities already inhabit Arab and Muslim identity spaces in France. This book is an extension of Mack’s doctoral dissertation, but also showcases his background as a journalist, which is reﬂected in his in- depth knowledge of political and media discourses in France. At the core of the book lies a deconstruction of the binary that putatively opposes European sexual modernity and an Arabic conservatism that is accused of threatening the former. The ﬁve chapters of his book enable Mack to present his argument across disciplinary methods and representa- tional supports. The ﬁrst chapter shows how the suburbs offer queering potentials far from the conservative gender binaries ascribed to them by the French media, and offers a particularly productive discussion of female virility beyond the imitation of its patriarchal pendant. Chapter 2 traces the historical legacy of the colonial-era Algiers school of psycho- analysis, and offers more up-to-date points of view, including those of Didier Fassin and Tahar Ben Jelloun, on the pathologization of North African immigrant sexualities. Chapter 3 brings literary works by Rachid O., Abdellah Ta¨ıa, and Nina Bouraoui into dia- logue with older texts by Bernard-Marie Kolte`s and Fre´de´ric Mitterrand in an analysis of an ‘erotics of poverty’ targeting young Arab males. Chapter 4 offers cinematic analyses of sexuality in the French suburbs, based on Andre´Te´chine´’s Les T´emoins (2007), Jacques Audiard’s Un prophe`te (2009), and Jean-Franc¸ois Richet’s Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997). Chapter 5 focuses on an ethnic turn in French pornography that capitalizes on ‘tensions and fears related to the immigration debate and the place of Arabs in France’ (p. 222), and questions the potential for Franco-Arabs to eroticize themselves beyond the Eurocentric gaze. Mack’s book has already raised interest in the ﬁeld of French and francophone studies, and has been at the centre of a discussion organized by the CNRS in summer 2017 in Paris. In hand with Todd Shepard’s most recent book, Maˆle d´ecolonisation: l’‘homme arabe’ et la France, de l’ind´ependance alg´erienne a`la r´ve olution iranienne (1962–1979) (Paris: Payot, 2017), Mack’s book is set to bring a new perspective to research on immigration, religious back- ground, and masculinity in contemporary Europe. PRISCILLA CHARRAT NELSON doi:10.1093/fs/knx259 BRADLEY UNIVERSITY Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fs/article-abstract/72/1/146/4735088 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018
French Studies – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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