The French Imperial Nation-state: Negritude and Colonial Humanism between the Two World Wars

Paperback | December 1, 2005

byGary Wilder

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France experienced a period of crisis following World War I when the relationship between the nation and its colonies became a subject of public debate. The French Imperial Nation-State focuses on two intersecting movements that redefined imperial politics—colonial humanism led by administrative reformers in West Africa and the Paris-based Negritude project, comprising African and Caribbean elites.

Gary Wilder develops a sophisticated account of the contradictory character of colonial government and examines the cultural nationalism of Negritude as a multifaceted movement rooted in an alternative black public sphere. He argues that interwar France must be understood as an imperial nation-state—an integrated sociopolitical system that linked a parliamentary republic to an administrative empire. An interdisciplinary study of colonial modernity combining French history, colonial studies, and social theory, The French Imperial Nation-State will compel readers to revise conventional assumptions about the distinctions between republicanism and racism, metropolitan and colonial societies, and national and transnational processes.

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France experienced a period of crisis following World War I when the relationship between the nation and its colonies became a subject of public debate. The French Imperial Nation-State focuses on two intersecting movements that redefined imperial politics—colonial humanism led by administrative reformers in West Africa and the Paris-b...

Gary Wilder is associate professor of history at Pomona College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:December 1, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226897680

ISBN - 13:9780226897684

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Part 1: The Imperial Nation-State
1. Introduction: Working through the Imperial Nation-State
2. Framing Greater France: A Real Abstraction
Part 2: Colonial Humanism
3. Toward a New Colonial Rationality: Welfare, Science, Administration
4. A Doubled and Contradictory Form of Government
5. Temporality, Nationality, Citizenship
Part 3: African Humanism
6. Negritude I: Practicing Citizenship in Imperial Paris
7. Negritude II: Cultural Nationalism
8. Negritude III: Critique of (Colonial) Reason
Conclusion: Legacies of the Imperial Nation-State
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Wilder's careful and thorough analysis of the long-term development of the French welfare state as well as its subsidiary colonial administration . . . is a must-read. . . . A boon for anyone whose knowledge of France and its colonies comes laargely from film and literature that were generated by the colonized."