Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, French and Francophone Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Northeastern University
Decolonizing 1968(s): Between Imperial Fragmentation and Enduring Connectivity

My research compares and connects the political activity of syndicates from three regions of the Francophone world—Tunis, Dakar, and Lyon—beginning in the mid-1960s and carrying into the early 1970s. This project proposes two major levels of analysis: 1) it compares the simultaneous events occurring in three specific local contexts that culminated in the spring of 1968 and 2) it traces transnational communication between organizations to determine how this may have shaped political consciousness. The scope and topic of this research reflects the intersection of three major fields of study: 1968 studies, postcolonialism, and migration studies. By merging theories and methodologies from these three fields, I hope to expand the limits of each field while interrogating how transnational linkages informed resistance in the post-colonial, Francophone world. In addition, I will examine how activism was articulated throughout the former empire while exploring the dimensions of global connectivity and, conversely, imperial fragmentation, after its collapse. This research will also construct a model for placing the First and Third Worlds in the same conceptual framework, as opposed to one-sided or separate histories. After spending this past year researching archives in Lyon, I plan to spend approximately 6 months in the Paris, 6 months in Tunis, and 5 months in Dakar, conducting interviews with participants and spending time in local archives. The National Archives in both Tunisia and Dakar will enable me to examine local periodicals and daily newspapers to construct a narrative of events, while I will analyze data on national student and worker syndicates for evidence of international communication. In France I have been focusing [and will focus] on collections regarding immigrant activist groups and other radical organizations that identified with foreign causes. This multi-country research project will be jointly funded by the SSRC and Fulbright-Hays.