University of Toronto history Professor Eric Jennings will talk about French Equatorial Africa and Cameroon under Free French rule as part of the Tubman Speaker Series Tuesday.
Jennings will deliver the talk, “African Experiences in the Free/Fighting French Ranks, 1940-1944”, Oct. 15, from 3:30 to 5pm, at S701 Ross Building, Keele campus.
In particular, his talk will focus on the centrality of sub-Saharan Africa for the early Fighting French movement, paying special attention to issues of legitimacy and coercion. His presentation will be based on his forthcoming book, La France libre fut africaine (Editions Perrin, Paris). His talk, however, will be conducted in English.
In addition, Jennings’ areas of interest include 19th and 20th century France, French colonialism, decolonization and the francophone world. His book, Dalat, the Making and Undoing of French Indochina (University of California Press, 2011) – to be released in French with Payot under the title’ Dalat, une nostalgie coloniale) – is a multi-angled study of a French colonial hill station in Southeast Asia. Its focus lies on place, power and colonial fault lines.
Library of Congress, Wild rubber market, Lebango, Moyen-Congo, Free French Africa, 1943
Curing the Colonizers (Duke University Press, 2006), translated into French as A la Cure les Coloniaux! PUR, 2011) was situated at the crossroads of the histories of colonialism, medicine, culture, leisure and tourism. In 2001, Jennings published Vichy in the Tropics (Stanford University Press), which was translated into French with in 2004 under the title, Vichy sous les tropiques). It explores the ultra-conservative and authoritarian Vichy regimes colonial politics, and the formation of new colonial identities in the French Caribbean, Indochina, and the island of Madagascar.
Jennings is the recipient of the Alf Heggoy and Jean-François Coste prizes, as well as the Chevalier de l’ordre des Palmes académiques.