Jennifer Boittin

Jennifer Boittin
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

01/10/2016 - 30/06/2017


Histoire moderne

Fonction d’origine

Professeure associée

Institution d’origine

Université d'Etat de Pennsylvanie (États-Unis)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Ecrire l'intime: La vie privée, les circulations, le genre et les droits dans l'Empire français, 1914-1945

Writing Intimacy studies how women in French West Africa and French Indochina reacted after they realized that the French state was watching them and trying to control their movements. Specifically, this book argues that women used the invasion of their intimacy to reinforce their independence. First, they rejected colonial hierarchies of race, gender, sexuality, class and nation to live the far messier lives that better fit them. Second, they reinterpreted what it meant to be "French" and a "woman" overseas and in so doing found ways to persuade administrators to support their financial, civil and social rights and to respect their right to privacy. They did so by invoking the dislocation of entering and exiting the empire as well as transportation, bodies, sex, poverty, feminism and anti-colonialism. This book project shows how women who did not have the vote creatively voiced the right to autonomy and then lived self-reliantly in the colonies.


Jennifer Anne Boittin is an associate professor of French, Francophone Studies and History at the Pennsylvania State University. She specializes in French colonial history with a particular emphasis upon the intersections between race, gender and class. Her book, Colonial Metropolis, explores the connections between migrant West African, Malagasy and Antillean men and women, and their French feminist counterparts in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, arguing that together they redefined Paris as a colonial space in which they militantly advocated for their rights.