Harry Gamble

Harry Gamble

Associate Professor (on leave 2017-18)

Department/Affiliation: French and Francophone Studies, Global and International Studies
Phone: 330-263-2400
Office Address: 206 Kauke


  • B.A., French, Wake Forest University, 1989
  • M.A., French Studies, New York University 1996
  • Ph.D., French Studies, New York University 2002

Courses Taught

  • Contemporary France
  • Literature and Culture of Francophone Africa
  • North Africa and France
  • Journeys in the French-Speaking Caribbean
  • French Conversation 

Select Publications

  • "The National Revolution in French West Africa:  Dakar-Jeunes and the Shaping of African Opinion." International Journal of Francophone Studies 10 (1-2) (2007): 85-103.
  • "Peasants of the Empire: Rural Schools and the Colonial Imaginary in 1930s French West Africa." Cahiers d'Études Africaines 3, n. 195 (2009): 775-804.
  • "La Crise de l'enseignement en Afrique occidentale française, 1944-1950." Histoire de l'Éducation 128 (October-December 2010): 129-162.

Research Interests

My research explores the history of France’s colonial empire, as well as postcolonial relations between France and its former colonies. Although my primary geographical focus is on sub-Saharan Africa, my work increasingly extends to the Maghreb and to the French-speaking Caribbean. I also maintain an active scholarly interest in contemporary France, and am particularly attuned to questions relating to immigration, national identity, and the French educational system.

My book (forthcoming with University of Nebraska Press) explores a series of contests that shaped the Federation of French West Africa between 1900 and 1950. I have found that colonial schools provide a fascinating window into the complexity of colonial encounters. Although they were designed to help consolidate French rule, colonial schools repeatedly became important flashpoints in broader struggles over the colonial order and the future of French West Africa.

I am currently turning my attention to a new comparative project that will explore the histories of several prominent universities, founded in different parts of France’s overseas empire. After being fully integrated into the French university system, each of these universities eventually experienced periods of crisis and reinvention during the eras of decolonization and nation building. Through the histories of these institutions, my project will examine varieties of decolonization and the complexities of post-colonial relationships.