You are here: Home / People / Jennifer Boittin

Jennifer Boittin

Jennifer Boittin

Associate Professor of French, Francophone Studies, and History


Biography:

The French colonial state’s vested interest in personhood and identity, i.e. in gender, race, nationality or class, served to control how bodies moved and people lived within French Indochina and French West Africa. In turn, aware that they were persons of interest and that their private lives were being investigated, French women pushed back against officials via letters in which they contested, rebutted or even roundly rejected data meant to force or restrict their mobility. This project looks at how women resisted the imperial regime of information, for example by setting up alternative communication flows and therefore redefining the boundaries of the data itself, reshaping points such as race and gender to wrest back from the administration control over information and therefore their own bodies.