Beyond France

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This University Seminar focuses on the transnational material, intellectual and symbolic exchanges that have characterized the regions that once composed successive French empires since the seventeenth century.  The seminar will not be an exercise in colonial or imperial history, organized around the opposition between « center » and « periphery », but rather an exploration of connections and lines of fragmentation within that space. The goal of the seminar will be to explore not only France’s global expansion and retraction in the modern period, but, no less significantly, the after-lives of French empire in various post-colonies, networks, and institutions. Our goal is to map a distinct—but not isolated—world within the “globe,” one conditioned but not defined by France, its empires, its language, and its ecumene. Inherently interdisciplinary, the seminar will bring together scholars in the humanities and the social sciences from Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa in order to understand these complex exchanges that reach « Beyond France ».

Gregory Mann
Associate Professor of History, Columbia University

Tabetha Ewing
Associate Professor of History, Bard College

Devon Golaszewski

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.




04/15/2016 411 Fayerweather
12:30 PM
The Revolt against the Indies Company: Saint-Domingue, 1722-1724
Malick W. Ghachem, MIT

Charly Coleman, Columbia

Notes: Malick W. Ghachem, Associate Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a historian and lawyer. His primary areas of concentration are slavery and abolition, criminal law, and constitutional history. He is the author of The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012), a history of the law of slavery in Saint-Domingue (Haiti) between 1685 and 1804. The book received the American Historical Association’s J. Russell Major Prize for the best work in English on French history and was co-winner of the Caribbean Studies Association’s Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize for the best book published in the field of Caribbean studies over the past three years. He teaches courses on the Age of Revolution, Slavery and Abolition, American criminal justice, and other topics.

Professor Ghachem earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and his doctorate in history from Stanford. He clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Miami, FL in 2004. A member of the Massachusetts bar, Professor Ghachem practiced law in Boston from 2005 to 2010 for two law firms: Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. For part of that period (2006-2007) he served as a lecturer in MIT’s Political Science Department. Between 2010 and 2013, he taught at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland, ME, where he is now a Senior Scholar.
10/09/2015 Fayerweather 411
12:30 PM
Black City: Detroit’s French and African Life in the Era of Pontiac
Christian Crouch, Bard College

11/20/2015 411 Fayerweather
12:30 PM
The First Collective Protest of Black African Migrants in Postcolonial France (1960–1975): A Struggle for Housing and Rights
Jean-Phillipe Dedieu ,

Respondant: Cliff Rosenberg , City College, New York