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"People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them"
-James Baldwin, Stranger in the Village, 1953

“French Women’s Civil Society Activism: Civic and Political Struggles in Imperial France, 1897-1945”

I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Northeastern University in Boston. My dissertation,  examines how French women’s civil society organizations participated in the imperial project, both in the colonies and metropole, and how the empire influenced their discourse and activities. A chronological analysis from 1897 to the end of World War II positions three women’s civil society organizations—the French Women’s Colonial Emigration Society (SFEF; Société Française d’Émigration des Femmes), the Civic and Social Women’s Union (UFCS; Union Féminine Civique et Sociale), and the Union for French Women’s Suffrage (UFSF; Union française pour le suffrage des femmes)—within French imperial history, specifically the French-controlled territories in the North African Maghreb.

Exploring these three groups’ activities and rhetoric within the French empire demonstrates that women’s civil society groups’ endeavors were not merely confined to metropolitan France but included appeals to settler-colonial and indigenous women in the colonies. The dissertation thus illuminates dimensions of civil society organizations in Third Republic France that have often been ignored.


Education

Ph.D. Northeastern University, World History (2021) Dissertation Committee: Laura L. Frader (Chair), Heather Streets-Salter, and Rebecca Rogers (Université Paris Descartes)

MA University of New York at Albany: History

BA Saint Michael’s College: History and Secondary Education


Research Interests

Modern Europe-Imperialism and Colonialism-Gender and Sexuality in World History- Empire and the French Third Republic


About Me

Born in New York. Living in Boston.

At Northeastern University I have taught “World History since 1945,” “Gender and Sexuality in World History since 1800,” “Empires, Revolutions, Wars, and their Aftermath,” and “Racism and Racial Inequality in the United States.”

My research has brought me to the Centre des Archives du Féminisme at the Universitaire d’Angers, the Archives Nationales d’Outre Mer in Aix-en-Provence, and multiple sites in Paris.

I have worked as a Research Assistant for Drs. Laura Levine Frader and Suzanna Danuta Walters, and as a Graduate Editorial Assistant with Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Dissertation defense will be 2021. I am interested in post-doctoral fellowships and TT and non-TT positions.

I love to travel and explore new places and different food, bike, read, listen to political podcasts, learn about wine, and spend time with friends.


Listen to an interview I did for the “Breaking History Podcast”

Emigrants, Prostitution, and French Feminist Writing 1897-1962, with Jack Gronau

Publications

“Féministes Françaises et l’empire, 1890-1962,” in Le Bulletin de l’association Archives du féminisme. No. 26 (2018)


Teaching

2021 INPR1500 Racism and Racial Inequality in the United States

2020 HIST2373 Gender and Sexuality in World History Since 1800

2018 HIST1170 Empires, Revolutions, Wars and their Aftermaths

2018 HIST2211 The World Since 1945

Grants & Fellowships

2021 Project-Based Teaching Scholar, Office of the Provost, Northeastern

2017 Office of the Provost, Dissertation Research Grant, Northeastern; Lucille Zanghi Research Grant/Gillis Family Fund Dissertation Grant, History Department, Northeastern.

2016 Pre-Dissertation Grant, Gillis Family Fund, History Department, Northeastern University; New England World History Association Travel Grant

2010 Morris Altman Research Fund Award Recipient, University at Albany


Recent Presentations

2021

“French Women’s Civil Society Organizations and Maintaining Colonial Order in French Algeria,” to be presented at the webinar, ‘What Was Wrong With Colonialism, Really?’ American University in Cairo, June, 2021.

2019   

“French Feminists and the Maghreb,” 45th Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, University of Sherbrooke, South Shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 13-15 June 2019.

2016

“A Colonial Paradox: La société française l’émigration des femmes aux colonies and the response of French women,” 25th Annual World History Association Conference, Ghent, Belgium, July 2-5, 2016.

“A Double Erasure: Lesbianism and the French Women’s Movement,” Gay American History @ 40 Conference, New York, New York, 4-6 May, 2016.

2020

“Politicizing Motherhood and Femininity: Social Catholicism and Fascist Political Culture in La femme algérienne,” 46th Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, SUNY Buffalo, 28-31 May, 2020 (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

2017                

“La societe française d’émigration des femmes aux colonies: French Women’s Colonial Emigration and the Feminist Response,” 43rd Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society, Aix-en-Provence, France, 15-17 June 2017.

2015

“No Lesbians Allowed: Success at the Expense of Exclusion in the French Women’s Movement,” 24th Annual World History Association Conference, Savannah, GA, 30 June- 2 July, 2015.

“Writings to Reality: Alexandra Kollontai and the Development of Russian Feminism in the Soviet Union,” Fredrick S. Pardee School of Global Studies Conference, Boston University, Boston, MA, February 28, 2015.


Thanks for visiting my page. You can reach me at gronau.j@northeastern.edu