Harry Gamble

Harry Gamble

Associate Professor (on leave 2017-18)

Department/Affiliation: French and Francophone 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

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 education.

My recently published book examines a series of contests that helped to shape the Federation of French West Africa between 1900 and 1950. I devote particular attention to colonial schools: although they were designed to help consolidate French rule, schools repeatedly became important flashpoints in broader struggles over the colonial order and the future of French West Africa.

Contesting French West Africa book cover

I am currently working on a new comparative project that will explore the development of higher education in several parts of the French-speaking world. Extending from World War Two through the 1980s, this project will examine the ways in which struggles over decolonization, national projects, and postcolonial relationships with France shaped the histories of three different universities.

Courses Taught

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

Selected 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.