In April 1884, a scandal erupted among colonial officials stationed in the French Central African colony of Gabon. Alexis d'Alexis, a customs officer, and Faucher, a member of Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza's third expedition into the Gabonese interior, accused one another of abuses against Africans. D'Alexis declared that Faucher had tortured a Senegalese sailor, and Faucher accused D'Alexis of engaging in sexual relationships with six African boys and men on the island. Although the charges never went beyond the colonial administration's internal correspondence, the allegations of aberrant conduct and the inquiry that resulted offer a fascinating glimpse of understandings of masculinity, internal friction, and the monitoring of intimate behavior within the French colonial administration in the Scramble for Africa. This case points to the fractured nature of state regulation of sexuality in the French empire, as well as the ways different officials defined and deployed constructions of abnormal masculinity as weapons in disputes.
The Faucher-d'Alexis Affair of 1884
Rural Denizens, Forest Administration, and the Colonial Situation in Algeria (1850–1900)
France. This speech nevertheless mirrors a development in Algeria, in which forests played a key role in terms of colonial development. In a narrative representative of the forestry expectations expressed by the colonial administration, Captain Léo
children became a foundational component of social order, and nutrition science came to encompass economic, cultural, and ecological elements of life. Scientific involvement in colonial administration deepened as biologists and physicians in France and the
Colonial Encounter and Intercultural Interaction in the Lao-Vietnamese Uplands
Lao-Vietnamese upland frontier before and during French colonial administration. I will explore processes of interaction and the manifold entanglements between lowland empires and different upland societies. Mimesis is first of all a way to create
The Making of War Veterans in Postindependence Mozambique
I discuss are the antigos combatentes , the war veterans of the liberation struggle who fought between 1964 and 1974 with Frelimo against the Portuguese colonial administration. The liberation struggle ended with the Carnation Revolution in Lisbon
Trusteeship, Property and Empire
This article explores the way in which the idea of trusteeship shaped questions relating to property and possession in nineteenth-century sub-Saharan Africa. Trusteeship is distinctive insofar as it sanctioned European dominion over territories in Africa while preserving an indigenous right in the wealth contained in these territories. The article illuminates the character of this relationship, first, by arguing that a narrative that reduces empire to a story of domination and exploitation ends up obscuring the complex property relations entailed by trusteeship. Second, it describes the introduction of trusteeship into the political, economic and social life of sub-Saharan Africa, focusing mainly on the experience of British colonial administration and the Berlin Conference of 1884-5. Third, it clarifies a relationship of unequal reciprocity that joined European commercial interests with the well-being of the so-called 'native' tribes of Africa.
Few scholars today question the binary relationship between imperialism and violence, and French historians are no exception. In recent years, a multitude of studies have appeared concerning the violence inherent in the conquest of the nineteenth-century Gallic empire, the maintenance and defense of the colonial system, and the decolonization process—massacres and torture during the Algerian War, for example. Such works often reflect Etienne Balibar’s definition of “structural violence”: an essential component of a repressive system, maintaining unequal social relations while defending “the interests, power positions, and forms of social domination.”1 This hegemony took various guises at different times throughout the history of French imperialism, operating in tandem with assaults on the indigènes (the term adopted by the authorities for natives). It could involve surveillance and intelligence gathering, security forces, and judicial-penal institutions employed to harass and control the colonized. Yet it also resulted from the forced pacification of native peoples (Alice Conklin refers to this policy as an “act of state-sanctioned violence”) and the imposition of the indigénat—the loose collection of rules that granted extraordinary police and disciplinary powers to the colonial administration, along with the imposition of forced labor and taxation.2 The ultimate defense of this system, and indeed its brutal apogee, emerged during the wars of decolonization, in which tens of thousands of the colonized were killed in Algeria and Indochina, while countless others were subjected to torture and incarceration.
Laura Levine Frader, Ian Merkel, Jessica Lynne Pearson, and Caroline Séquin
Paul Von Heinl—shared an important trait. They were all subjects of government surveillance in interwar Dakar, the capital of French West Africa (AOF). Beyond their shared status as “suspicious persons” in the eyes of the colonial administration, these
French Colonial Attempts to Supervise Its Policing System during the 1930s*
examining the criticism that the higher ranks of the colonial administration in French West Africa (FWA) expressed during the 1930s with regard to three murder investigations conducted by district commanders. My aim is twofold. First, through this criticism
through colonial administrations, churches, schools, export-oriented plantations, and port amenities. Max Quanchi has termed this the production of the “new Pacific” 1 —a region remade by and under imperial control, which Nicholas Halter describes here in