France and the Construction of African Nation-States: Africanization and Decolonization

Friday, May 1, 2015 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
543 Williams Hall (Cherpack Lounge)

Michelle Pinto received her Ph.D. in History from New York University in 2013.  She is currently a Teaching Fellow in the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Integrated Studies Program and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. 

About the Presentation:
This presentation is drawn from Pinto’s book manuscript project on the decolonization of French Africa in the twentieth century (1946-1966).
  It examines the origins of Africanization and the centrality of this process to the reconfigured France-Africa relationship that marked the independence era.  To this end, it delves into the contours of the contested Africanization process; and then examines the education and career trajectories of over two thousand Africans trained by France in this period and slated to occupy key positions as upper-level civil servants in their new nations. This presentation aims to trace the ways in which contemporary African societies were indelibly—but specifically, through individuals and institutions—marked by the post-colonial French presence.