• B.A., French, Wake Forest University 1989
  • M.A., French Studies, New York University 1996
  • Ph.D., French Studies, New York University 2002
Areas of Interest
Over Image

My research explores the history of France’s colonial empire, processes of decolonization, and postcolonial relations between France and its former colonies. Although my primary geographical focus is on sub-Saharan Africa, my current work increasingly extends to the French-speaking Caribbean. I also maintain an active scholarly interest in the Maghreb and contemporary France, and am particularly attuned to questions relating to migrations, minority communities, national identities, and education.

My book examines a series of contests that helped to shape the Federation of French West Africa between 1900 and 1950. I devote particular attention to colonial schools: although they were designed to help consolidate French rule, schools repeatedly became important flashpoints in broader struggles over the colonial order and the future of French West Africa.

For more on Contesting French West Africa, please listen to my discussion on the New Books Network.

I am currently working on a comparative project that explores decolonization and the making of the postcolonial world through the revealing lens of higher education.

Courses Taught
  • Contemporary France
  • West Africa and France: Encounters since 1900
  • Mediterranean Crossings: North Africa and France in Historical Perspective
  • Journeys in the French-Speaking Caribbean
  • Youth and Education in France
  • Introduction to French and Francophone Texts
  • Conversations with the Francophone World

A returned Peace Corps volunteer, I help to supervise Wooster’s Global Impacts Pathway and Peace Corps Prep program.




  • “The National Revolution in French West Africa: Dakar-Jeunes and the Shaping of African Opinion,” International Journal of Francophone Studies 10, nos. 1-2 (2007): 85-103.
  • “Peasants of the Empire: Rural Schools and the Colonial Imaginary in 1930s French West Africa,” Cahiers d’Études Africaines 3, no. 195 (2009): 775-804.
  • “La Crise de l’enseignement en Afrique occidentale française, 1944-1950,” Histoire de l’Éducation 128 (October-December 2010): 129-162.
  • “Navigating the Fourth Republic: West African University Students between Metropolitan France and Dakar,” French Politics, Culture, & Society 39, no. 3 (Winter 2021): 73-99.