HIGHLIGHT : Book Launch: Sarah Zimmerman (Western Washington University): Militarizing Marriage: West African Soldiers’ Conjugal Traditions in Modern French Empire (Ohio University Press, 2020)
Dr Sarah Zimmerman, currently a professor of history at Western Washington University, is a former study abroad student in Senegal and recipient of the West African Research Association fellowship who, over the last decade, has been a frequent visitor in Senegal for her research projects on the Tirailleurs Sénégalais, african soldiers who played a decisive part in the victory of the Allied Forces during World War II. Her book examines the Tirailleurs Sénégalais’ imperial history spanning West Africa, Congo, Madagascar, North Africa, particularly Algeria, and also Indochina, from the 1880’s to 1962.
Across the French Empire, West African soldiers adopted conjugal strategies with women at home and abroad, which certainly posed a number of cultural but also legal issues relating to the spouse and children to be officially recognized by the colonial administration… Militarizing Marriage focuses on wives, conjugality and marital traditions which undoubtedly challenged imperial racial order.
The presentation was moderated by Professor Emily Burrill, History (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and was attended by over 15 people at WARC on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022.