Professor - French and Francophone Studies [Department Chair]
Office: Kauke 206
- B.A., French, Wake Forest University, 1989
- M.A., French Studies, New York University 1996
- Ph.D., French Studies, New York University 2002
My research explores the history of France’s colonial empire, processes of decolonization, and 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 migrations, minority communities, 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.
I am currently working on a new comparative project that explores the development of higher education in several parts of the French-speaking world. Extending from World War Two into the 1980s, this project examines the ways in which struggles over decolonization, national projects, and postcolonial relationships with France shaped the histories of three different universities.
- Contemporary France
- West Africa and France: Encounters since 1900
- North Africa and France
- Journeys in the French-Speaking Caribbean
- Youth and Education in France
- Introduction to French and Francophone Texts
- French Conversation
As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I also serve as faculty advisor for Wooster's Peace Corps Prep program.
- Contesting French West Africa: Battles over Schools and the Colonial Order,1900-1950 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017).
- "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.