Associate Professor of History
Areas of expertise
- Modern European History,
- France and the French Empire,
- Muslims and the Islamic World,
- Human Rights,
PhD, Georgetown University 2008
MSFS, Georgetown University 2003
BA, Amherst College 2000
ACLS Mellon Early Career Fellow
American Council of Learned Societies
June 01, 2009 - June 01, 2010
Visiting Assistant Professor
August 01, 2008 - May 01, 2009
As I often remind my students, I care far more about how they think than what they know. I believe in a rigorous, interactive classroom environment. My courses confront issues that have been hotly debated for centuries; my goal is to provide my students with a vocabulary and an analytical framework that allow them to grapple with these questions on their own. I expect students to leave my class with more open questions than they arrived with—my job is to complicate their understandings of the world, to break down preconceptions and easy assumptions.
I teach the following courses here at SU: Nations and Nationalism in World History; Modern European History: 1789 to the Present; Historiography; Eurabian Nights: A History of Europe's Muslims; History of Human Rights; History of Western Humanitarianism; The "Ins and Outs" of Modern French History; Transnational History (Capstone Research Seminar); Doing Good and Doing It Well: The Theory and Practice of Philanthropy (First-Year Seminar)
I'm finishing a book on how and why local community actors in France began to advocate for North African migrant rights in the decades following the Second World War.
I'm also working on a project about Franco-Portuguese interactions in the 1960s, focusing on Franch activism against the human rights abuses of the Salazar regime, as well as diplomatic relations during decolonization.
- “Ramadan in the Republic: Imperial Necessity and Religious Assistance in the Rhône Department,” French Cultural Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1, February 2017.
- “Liberating the Land or Absorbing a Community: Managing North African Migration and the Bidonvilles in Paris’s Banlieues,” French Politics, Culture & Society [special issue: "Algerian Legacies in Metropolitan France"], Vol. 31, No. 3, Winter 2013, pp. 1-20.
- "Teaching the French Revolution from the Inside Out: Views from Egypt and the Caribbean," World History Bulletin, Vol. XXVI, no. 1 (Spring 2010).
- “Saint-Denis, Solidarity, and Security,” Lawyers, Guns & Money, 3 Dec. 2015.
- “Solidarity and ‘Je suis Paris,’” Lawyers, Guns & Money, 18 Nov. 2015.
- “Racism, not Religion, is at the Root of European Attacks,” Austin American-Statesman, 28 Mar. 2015.
- “The First World War Before it was the First World War,” Austin American-Statesman, 26 Jul. 2014.
- “Last Word: Teaching Philanthropy and the Liberal Arts,” Southwestern Magazine, Spring 2014.
- “Movie evokes ancient desire to loot—and rescue—culture,” Austin American-Statesman, 6 Apr. 2014.
- “Why a History of Human Rights?” The Megaphone, 30 Oct. 2008.
- Eric T. Jennings, Free French Africa in World War II: The African Resistance, Journal of Military History, (forthcoming).
- Susan Palmer, The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la République, and the Government-Sponsored “War on Sects,” Journal of Religion, Vol. 94, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 139-141.
- Panikos Panayi and Pippa Virdee, eds., Refugees and the End of Empire: Imperial Collapse and Forced Migration in the Twentieth Century, Journal of World History, 24:3 (September 2013), pp. 733-735.
- John R. Bowen, Why The French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space, Nationalities Papers 36:3 (July 2008), pp. 586-588.
Digital Speakers Bureau (Center for European Studies at the University of Texas at Austin)
- "The History of Art Looting"
- "Muslims in Europe" (forthcoming)
Seminars & Presentations
- “From ‘Ghetto’ to ‘Apartheid’: Education Policy as Housing Discrimination in the 1970s”; Society for French Historical Studies (SFHS) Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 20-22 April 2017.
- Roundtable, “Human Rights in the Modern Francophone World”; SFHS Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 20-22 April 2017.
- “Passing the Torch on the Civilizing Mission: French Hopes for the Portuguese Empire in the 1960s”; Beyond Francafrique Workshop, University of Portsmouth (UK), 22 Feb. 2017.
- “The View From Below: What We Learn From Local Migrant Histories”; Council for European Studies (CES) International Conference for Europeanists, Philadelphia, TN, 14-16 Apr. 2016.
- Roundtable, “Teaching Decolonization”; Society for French Historical Studies (SFHS) Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, 3-5 March 2016.
- “Living with ‘Our Algerian Brothers’: The Historical Effects of Space and Proximity on Community Relations with North African Migrants in the Parisian Suburbs”; Conference: “Migrants in the City,” University of Sheffield, UK, 12-13 Oct. 2015.
- “Harnessing Religion in the Service of Empire: French Laïcité v. British Laissez-Faire”; Colloquium: “Translating Secularism,” Institut Français de Londres, London, UK, 18-19 Sep. 2015.
- “Diplomacy in the Twilight of Empire: Franco-Portuguese Relations during Decolonization”; Council for European Studies International Conference for Europeanists, Paris, France, 8-10 July 2015.
- “Mediterranean Crossings: Over the Border or Along the Boulevard?”; Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, 16-19 April 2015.
- Discussant, “Contested Visions of Metropole and Colony: From France to French West Africa in the 20th Century,” at the Western Society for French History Conference, San Antonio, TX, 13-15 Nov. 2014 (H-France webcast).
- “Ramadan on the Rhône: Muslims and Christians in Secular France,” at the Mediterranean Studies Association International Congress, Malaga, Spain, 28-31 May 2014.
- Discussant, ““Reviving the Colonial Past in the Postcolonial Present in the Francophone World,” CES International Conference for Europeanists, Washington, DC, 14-16 Mar. 2014.
- "A Cosmopolitan Approach to Community Policies: North African Migrants in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon"; Society for the Study of French History Annual Conference, Cardiff, Wales, UK, 30 June-2 July 2013.
- "Migration and Municipal Foreign Policy: North Africans in the Suburbs of Paris and Lyon"; Institute for Historical Studies Workshop Series on “Reinventing Diplomacy,” University of Texas at Austin, 15 Apr. 2013.
- "Slumlord with a Heart of Gold: What the Controversy over the Oliviers de Serres 'Ghetto' in Villeurbanne Reveals about Migrants’ Rights in the Republic"; Society for French Historical Studies Annual Conference, Cambridge, MA, 4-7 April 2013.
- “How Do We Deal with Good Intentions? Writing the History of Activism”; Feminist Studies Brown Bag, Southwestern University, 27 Feb. 2013.
- "The Algerian War through Metropolitan Prisms: How Ideas of Empire Shaped Local Immigration Policies and Policing," for the panel "Late Empire and its Aftermaths in Africa"; French Colonial Historical Society Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA; June 2012.
- "From Comrades-in-Arms to Community Burden: How Decolonization Reshaped Municipal Migration Policies in Saint-Denis," for the panel, "Coping with Decolonization: From Pondicherry to Paris"; SFHS Annual Conference, Charleston, SC; February 2011.
- "La Comparaison et la vue d'en bas: L'immigration maghrébine à l'échelle locale," guest lecturer for Dr. Nancy Green's research seminar, "L'Histoire comparée et les migrations contemporaines," École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 17 November 2009.
- "La recherche de leur place: Deux communes et leurs populations nord-africaines," invited speaker for the ongoing program, "Histoire des migrations internationales et des luttes contre les discriminations en Europe"; Migrinter and the Espace Mendès France; Poitiers, France; 9 November 2009.
- "'To All Our French Friends": Portuguese Immigrants and Public Conscience," for the panel, "Expecting the Unexpected: Unintended Consequences and Human Rights"; ISA Annual Convention, New York; 18 February 2009.
- "'Terror Will Not Reign in Saint-Denis': A Showdown Between City Officials and 'Harki' Police," for the panel, "Decolonization and the Challenge to the Republican Order: Ethnic Violence in the Paris Region in the 1960s"; WSFH Annual Conference, Quebec City, Canada; 6 November 2008.
- "The 'Liberation' of the Bidonvilles: Urban Development in Saint-Denis and Asnières-sur-Seine," for the panel, "Ils venaient tous d'Algérie: Analyse comparative de l'accès aux logements publics des travailleurs algériens, des Pieds-Noirs, et des Harkis dans les années 1960"; SFHS Annual Conference, Rutgers University; 3-5 April 2008.
- "France is a Woman: Feminine Allegory and the Late-Medieval Conception of Nation"; Duke University Department of Romance Studies conference on "Constructing Images of the Self"; 20-22 February, 2004.
Honors & Awards
Social Justice Fellowship (Southwestern University), 2016-17.
Travel Grant (University of Portsmouth), Beyond Francafrique workshop, Feb. 2017.
Competitive Development Funding (Southwestern University), 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16.
Sam Taylor Fellowship, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, 2013.
ACLS/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2007-08.
Bourse Jeanne Marandon, Association des Professeurs Français et Francophones de l'Amérique, 2005-06.
Groups & Affiliations
- Regular contributor, Lawyers Guns & Money, Jan. 2017-present.
- American Historical Association
- Council for European Studies
- Society for French Historical Studies
- Western Society for French History
- French Colonial Historical Society
- World History Association