Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Kalamazoo College
Website URL
France, Algeria, empire, colonialism, memory, Second Empire, Third Republic, intellectual history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a European and global historian with research and teaching interests in empire, nationalism, gender, and memory. My book manuscript, “Defining “Empire” in France: Memory, Politics, and National Identity, 1860-1900,” explores the debates waged over the meaning and value of empire in Second Empire and Third Republic France. I examine the shifting role played by “Napoleonic” or “continental” imperial models in the contested construction of France’s expansive colonial empire. I argue that for much of this period, French writers and politicians did not always see continental and colonial empire as distinct. I employ a range of sources – including government policies, newspapers, journals, pamphlets, treatises, textbooks, and novels – to show that, in fact, the memory of these older continental imperial models shaped republican understandings of and justifications for the colonial empire they were building. I also use these sources to highlight the developments that eventually led the French to see “colonial empire” as a unique political formation.

Recent Publications
  • “Imperial Ideologies in the Second Empire: The Mexican Expedition and the ‘Royaume Arabe,’” French Historical Studies (forthcoming)
  • “Republican Imperialisms: Narrating the History of ‘Empire’ in France, 1885-1900,” French Politics, Culture, and Society (forthcoming)
  • “Defining ‘Empire’ under Napoleon III: Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol and Paul Leroy-Beaulieu,” Journal of the Western Society for French History 41 (2013): 48-61.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Politics