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Associate Professor Emily Marker Wins American Historical Association Award for Her Book Black France, White Europe 

Emily Marker
Ron Downes, Jr.

November 8, 2023

The American Historical Association (AHA) has awarded its George Louis Beer Prize to Rutgers–Camden Associate Professor of History Emily Marker. Marker received the prestigious award, given to the best book in post-1895 European international history, for Black France, White Europe: Youth, Race, and Belonging in the Post-War Era (Cornell, 2022). The book tackles the deeply entangled history of European integration and African decolonization.

Black France, White Europe considers the question of belonging in postwar France, where leaders contemplated the inclusion of France's African empire in the new Europe-in-the-making. Addressing the longstanding structural contradictions of French colonial rule in Africa, Marker explores whether Black Africans and Black African Muslims could be both French and European. In a French republic that declared itself “colorblind,” Black French citizens nonetheless found themselves in a Europe rebuilding as white and raceless, and as Christian and secular.

Black France, White Europe deconstructs France’s republican-universalist myth by revealing the profound impact of both young Africans’ activism and transnational processes of European integration on racial reconstruction in postwar France,” said Marker. Marker shows that idealistic pronouncements about the resurrected republic turning the page on France’s racist and colonialist past were fueled by a slate of optimistic youth and education programs that sought to develop genuine bonds of solidarity between French and African young people.

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