The French Colonial Mind, Volume 1


The French Colonial Mind, Volume 1

Mental Maps of Empire and Colonial Encounters

Edited and with an introduction by Martin Thomas

France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization Series

424 pages


January 2012


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January 2012


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About the Book

What made France into an imperialist nation, ruler of a global empire with millions of dependent subjects overseas? Historians have sought answers to this question in the nation’s political situation at home and abroad, its socioeconomic circumstances, and its international ambitions. But all these motivating factors depended on other, less tangible forces, namely, the prevailing attitudes of the day and their influence among those charged with acquiring or administering a colonial empire. The French Colonial Mind explores these mindsets to illuminate the nature of French imperialism.
The first of two linked volumes, Mental Maps of Empire and Colonial Encounters brings together fifteen leading scholars of French colonial history to investigate the origins and outcomes of imperialist ideas among France’s most influential “empire-makers.” Considering French colonial experiences in Africa and Southeast Asia, the authors identify the processes that made Frenchmen and women into ardent imperialists. By focusing on attitudes, presumptions, and prejudices, these essays connect the derivation of ideas about empire, colonized peoples, and concepts of civilization with the forms and practices of French imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The contributors to The French Colonial Mind place the formation and the derivation of colonialist thinking at the heart of this history of imperialism.

Author Bio

Martin Thomas is a professor of colonial history at Exeter University. He is the author of several books, including The French Empire Between the Wars: Imperialism, Politics, and Society and Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914.
Contributors include Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Emanuelle Sibeud, Ruth Ginio, John Strachan, Anne Raffin, Kenneth Orosz, Maria Del Mar Logrono, Jennifer Dueck, James D. Le Sueur, Martin Shipway, Veronique Dimier, Tony Chafer, Todd D. Shepard, and Alexander Keese.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 
Introduction: Mapping the French Colonial Mind 

Part 1: Colonial Encounters and Imaginings of Empire
1. Reflections on the French Colonial Mind 
Patricia M. E. Lorcin
2. Intellectuals for Empire? The Imperial Training of Félicien Challaye, 1899<EN>1914 
Emmanuelle Sibeud
3. Colonial Minds and African Witchcraft: Interpretations of Murder as Seen in Cases from French West Africa in the Interwar Era 
Ruth Ginio
4. The Colonial Cosmology of Fernand Braudel 
John Strachan
5. Mental Maps of Modernity in Colonial Indochina during World War II: Mobilizing Sport to Combat Threats to French Rule 
Anne Raffin

Part 2: Language, Culture, and Communities of the Colonial Mind
6. Anticlericalism, French Language Policy, and the Conflicted Colonial Mind in Cameroon, 1923<EN>1939 
Kenneth J. Orosz
7. Information and Intelligence Collection among Imperial Subjects Abroad: The Case of Syrians and Lebanese in Latin America, 1915<EN>1930 
María del Mar Logroño Narbona
8. Religious Rivalry and Cultural Policymaking in Lebanon under the French Mandate 
Jennifer M. Dueck
9. France's Arabic Educational Reforms in Algeria during the Colonial Era: Language Instruction in Colonial and Anticolonial Minds before and after Algerian Independence 
James D. Le Sueur

Part 3: Administrators and the Colonial Mind after World War II
10. Thinking Like an Empire: Governor Henri Laurentie and Postwar Plans for the Late Colonial French "Empire-State" 
Martin Shipway
11. Recycling Empire: French Colonial Administrators at the Heart of European Development Policy 
Véronique Dimier
12. Friend or Foe? Competing Visions of Empire in French West Africa in the Run-up to Independence 
Tony Chafer
13. Thinking between Metropole and Colony: The French Republic, "Exceptional Promotion," and the "Integration" of Algerians, 1955<EN>1962 
Todd Shepard
14. Rigged Elections? Democracy and Manipulation in the Late Colonial State in French West Africa and Togo, 1944<EN>1958 
Alexander Keese

List of Contributors 

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