I am by training and inclination an historian of France and my scholarship focuses on the multiple ways that society and individuals construct and contest identity through notions of gender, class, race and ethnicity. I have published articles on women in the Paris trades in the mid- nineteenth century who fought for economic and political rights to work, feed their families and defend their trades. I have also had the chance to develop my interest in and publish on cultural history, including the contemporary debate on national identity in France as it concerns immigration and gender and to begin a new area of research: a cultural biography of Pauline Roland, a socialist feminist who spent the last year of her life (1856) as a political exile in Algeria. Both of those projects have led to an interest in French colonial history; I will join the executive board of the international society this summer in Paris where I participate in a roundtable on race, gender and colonialism (www.frenchcolonial.org). I do my best to stay up-to-date on historical scholarship as an area editor for the on-line review journal H-France (www.h-france.net/reviews).
St. Lawrence encourages interdisciplinary work and off-campus study so that I have been able to combine my scholarly interests with my teaching. Courses that I have developed and regularly teach include Women in European History, European imperialisms, senior research seminars on gender and biography as well as on European revolutions. Through the European Studies program, which I founded in 1994, I have been able to mentor independent projects on topics such as art repatriation debates and French national memory about World War II. As part of the Gender Studies program, I offer every year one of the core courses, Gender in Global Perspective as well as Transnational Feminist Activism every other year. Another opportunity I have had is to pilot the spring semester of the program in Rouen France that enrolls students with only one semester of French language study, first-year students; near the end of the term, the students could all communicate with their hosts in French during our week-long excursion to Senegal. I then directed the entire program for a year and, more recently offered a summer course on transnational civic engagement in Senegal. These interests have brought me into the African Studies Program.
My work as a scholar, a teacher and a member of the St. Lawrence community, both in History and interdisciplinary studies as well as being advisor to the Women's Resource Center, the student feminist theme house reflects the culture at St. Lawrence University that allows interdisciplinary collaboration with both students and faculty. I have a very good job!