Teaching Fellow in the Social Sciences (2021–23)
PhD'21 (modern European history) University of Chicago

Research Interests

19th and 20th-century Europe in global perspective; France and the French Empire; sovereignty, infrastructure, and international shipping; migration and the politics of mobility; race, labor, and capitalism in colonial contexts; masculinity and military history.

Dissertation

In-between Empires: Steaming the Trans-Suez Highways of French Imperialism (1830-1930)

Biography

I am a social and cultural historian of 19th and 20th-century Europe, specializing in France and the French Empire. My research investigates how the rise and fall of European imperialism intersected with new modes of mobility and engendered contests over the governance of globalization. During the 2021-22 academic year, I will be a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of History and the College.

I am currently transforming my dissertation (based on two years of archival research in France, the U.K., and Vietnam) into a book manuscript, In-between Empires: Steaming the Trans-Suez Highways of French Imperialism (1830-1930). The project explores the maritime highways connecting France to its Indo-Pacific empire via the Suez Canal. Juxtaposing the everyday histories of cramped steamships against the interimperial politics of a vast, Trans-Suez highway, the project reevaluates the apex of European imperial power. Much historiography has assumed that transit across empires became unproblematic with the rise of steamships and the opening of the Suez Canal. In-between Empires, by contrast, highlights social struggles over the highways of empire. From the militant demands of a multiracial maritime workforce to the elite networking of an interoceanic commuter class, a host of actors ensured that trans-Suez highways functioned not merely as pipelines of imperial power, but rather as contested borderlands. In the contact zones of steamships and maritime routes, colonial hierarchies of race and civilization were challenged, while everyday dilemmas – establishing legal jurisdiction, for instance, or following rules for disease control – simultaneously mobilized and undermined the idea of imperial sovereignty.

Publications and Writing

"Anti-Labour Repression in the in-between spaces of Empire: The Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes and the steamship workers of the 'China Line' (1900-1920)," in Corporate Policing, Yellow Unionism, and Strikebreaking, 1890-1930: In Defence of Freedom (eds. Matteo Milan and Alessandro Saluppo) (Routledge Press, 2020).

Under review: “Les Messageries Maritimes ‘au-delà de Suez’ aux débuts du XXe siècle. Luttes syndicales et souveraineté dans les interstices impériaux.” Revue d’histoire maritime.

Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire”: Blog post, Past & Present.

"Neighbourhoods Afloat": Blog post, Mobile Domesticities.

Awards and News

—2020, Center for International Social Sciences Research Dissertation Fellowship, University of Chicago
—2019, Winner of Von Holst Prize Lectureship Competition, History Department
—2019, Farrar Memorial Award, Society for French Historical Studies
—2017, Chateaubriand Doctoral Fellowship, French Embassy in the United States
—2016, Lurcy Fellowship, Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust
—History Students Awarded 47 Research Grants in 2017–18