Department ofHistory

Jennifer Boittin

Jennifer Boittin

Associate Professor of French, Francophone Studies, and History

326 Burrowes Building

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 865-1830



PhD, Yale University, 2005


As a historian, I focus on contact between the French mainland and colonial spaces in West Africa, the Caribbean, North Africa and French Indochina.  Categories of race, gender (including feminism and masculinity) and class all inform my first book, Colonial Metropolis: The Urban Grounds of Anti-Imperialism and Feminism in Interwar Paris(published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2010). Using newspapers, literature and police archives, I tell the story of African and Antillean colonial migrants and white French feminists who crossed paths in Paris and considered the cultural, political and social implications of living in the capital of an Empire.  Josephine Baker, the Nardal sisters, Tiémoko Garan Kouyaté and Lucie Cousturier are among the many urbanites who ground this study.  Expanding upon this research, my new project is a comparative study of French feminists living and traveling overseas during the early twentieth century (see “Feminist Mediations of the Exotic” Gender & History 22, 1 (April 2010): 131-150).  Additional publication information can be found on my profile.

Recent Publications:

“The Militant Black Men of Marseille and Paris, 1927-1937” in Black France/France noire: The History and Politics of Blackness, edited by Trica Danielle Keaton, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting and Tyler Stovall. Duke University Press (Durham, NC: June 2012).

Colonial Metropolis:  The Urban Grounds of Feminism and Anti-Imperialism in Interwar Paris. The University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln: 2010).

“Feminist Mediations of the Exotic:  French Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, 1921-1939,” Gender & History 22, 1 (April 2010): 131-150.

Special Issue of French Historical Studies: Intersections of Race and Gender in French History, 33, 3 (Summer 2010). Co-Editor and Introduction (“Who is French?”) with Professor Tyler Stovall.

Awards and Service:

Editorial Board, Journal of Women’s History (2011 – present)
Council Member, Western Society for French History (2011 – present)
NEH Summer Stipend (2010)
Franklin Research Grant (2010)

Recent Courses:

HIST435 – Topics in European History
HIST497G – The Other Citizens:  Slavery, Race, Gender and the Making of Modern France
HIST497D – History of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement in the US from WWII to Present

Areas of Specialization: