New Books Network

Jessica Lynne Pearson, “The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa” (Harvard UP, 2018)
International organizations throw up several obstacles—their immense scale, their dry bureaucratic language—to the historian trying to piece together their past. In her book, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Harvard University Press, 2018), Jessica Lynne Pearson steers clear of these obstacles and... Read More
Sarah Wobick-Segev, “Homes Away from Home: Jewish Belonging in 20th-Century Paris, Berlin, and St. Petersburg” (Stanford UP, 2018)
In pre-emancipation Europe, most Jews followed Jewish law most of the time, but by the turn of the twentieth century, a new secular Jewish identity had begun to take shape. How did Jews go from lives organized by synagogues, shul, and mikvehs to lives that were conducted in Hillel houses,... Read More
Gillian Glaes, “African Political Activism in Postcolonial France: State Surveillance and Social Welfare” (Routledge, 2018)
Gillian Glaes’s African Political Activism in Postcolonial France: State Surveillance and Social Welfare (Routledge, 2018) examines the experiences and agency of African immigrants in France from 1960 through the 1970s. Focused on the Africans who migrated to work and live in France during the post-decolonization period, the book tracks continuities... Read More
Andrew Israel Ross, “Public City/Public Sex: Homosexuality, Prostitution, and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris” (Temple UP, 2019)
In his provocative new book, Public City/Public Sex: Homosexuality, Prostitution, and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris (Temple University Press, 2019), Dr. Andrew Israel Ross maps out the intersection between histories of sexualities and the urban history of Paris in the 1800s. He examines how the regulation of public sex created... Read More
Céline Carayon, “Eloquence Embodied: Nonverbal Communication among French and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas” (UNC Press, 2019)
Taking a fresh look at the first two centuries of French colonialism in the Americas, Eloquence Embodied: Nonverbal Communication among French and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas (University of North Carolina Press and the Omohundro Institute, 2019), answers the long-standing question of how, and how well, Indigenous Americans and the Europeans who... Read More
Caroline Weber, “Proust’s Duchess” (Knopf, 2019)
“My greatest adventure was undoubtedly Proust. What is there left to write after that?” This is what Virginia Woolf said, full of admiration — and envy, too. Delve into Marcel Proust in this conversation with Caroline Weber, author of Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siecle... Read More
Michael G. Vann, “The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam” (Oxford UP, 2018)
A funny thing happened to historian Michael Vann* on the way to his PhD thesis. While he was doing his research on French colonialism and the urbanist project in Hanoi, he came across an intriguing dossier: “Destruction of animals in the city”. The documents he found started him on a... Read More
Claire Edington, “Beyond the Asylum: Mental Illness in French Colonial Vietnam” (Cornell UP, 2019)
Both colonies and insane asylums are well known institutions of power. But what of asylums in Europe’s early 20th-century colonial empires? How did they operate? Who was confined in them? Who worked there? What was daily life like in such an institution? How did Western medical experts and the colonized... Read More
Annabel L. Kim, “Unbecoming Language: Anti-Identitarian French Feminist Fictions” (Ohio State UP, 2018)
In Unbecoming Language: Anti-Identitarian French Feminist Fictions (The Ohio State University Press, 2018), Annabel Kim tangles with the question of difference so central to French feminism, theory, and writing. In a series of literary and historical contextualizations and close readings of authors Nathalie Sarraute, Monique Wittig, and Anne Garréta, Kim... Read More