Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, History, Rowan University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Johns Hopkins University
Educating Nationality: Senegalese Children and France, 1870-1903

My dissertation project will explore the life stories of children from Senegal who received bursaries to fund secondary education in France or North Africa in the late nineteenth century, testing the hypothesis that students' experiences abroad encouraged them to consider themselves "Senegalese." I will pay special attention to expressions of sentiment and to affective ties, allowing me to question how experiences of marginality, racism and homesickness in diaspora, as well as the formation of new friendships with both Senegalese and French people, ultimately impacted former bursary recipients' participation in struggles to define Senegalese national identity. I will rely on correspondence written by and about these children, focusing on their emerging political consciousness. Using both archival evidence and information obtained through oral interviews, I will examine the reintegration of travelers into their families and communities. I will study their links to community and kin and follow their later career paths, seeking to understand how these individuals ultimately shaped Senegalese society as a whole. Because of the important political roles played by many of these individuals in adulthood, we cam1ot fully understand the notions of Senegalese identity developing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries without considering the role of education in France and North Africa.