Breaking History: A World History Podcast
Episode 31: Emigrants, Prostitution, and French Feminist Writing 1897-1962, with Jack Gronau
Join Jamie Parker, Matt Bowser, and James Robinson as we discuss Jack Gronau's dissertation, "French Women, But Not Citizens: Colonial Emigration, Imperial Prostitution, and the Emancipatory Writings of French Feminists, 1897-1962" with Jack himself.
Jack tells us about how he came to focus on French North Africa and French Feminist imperialist history, from German history to Jewish history to WWII. His dissertation is framed as a series of episodes, and how French feminists engaged with the Empire and how they navigated the French imperial project. Jack details how he found voices invisible in history, by looking into French women's emigration societies' papers, the Feminist Press in Algeria, and how masculinity/femininity played out in colonial Algeria. French women would enforce racial norms and help normalize men in settler-colonies, Gronau argues. The "Civilizing Mission" was, in the end, a way for French women to claim their part in the Empire. Last, Gronau looks to the campaign against prostitution as a way to bolster their emancipatory claims.
Books mentions in the podcast:
"Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915"
by Antoinette Burton
"French Women and the Empire: The Case of Indochina"
by Marie-Paule Ha
"Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris"
by Jennifer Anne Boittin
"Transnational France: The Modern History of a Universal Nation"
by Tyler Stovall
The Breaking History podcast is a production of the Northeastern University History Graduate Student Association.
Producers and Sound Editors: Matt Bowser, Cassie Cloutier, and Dan Squizzero
Theme Music: Kieran Legg
Today's hosts were: Matt Bowser, Jamie Parker, and James Robinson.