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Owen White
Associate Professor
Director, Graduate Program
University of Delaware
229 John Munroe Hall
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-0805
Office Hours: W/R 9:00-10:30

Biography

​Owen White specializes in the history of modern France and the French colonial empire, with particular research interests in French West Africa and Algeria. The author of a book about the mixed-race population of French West Africa and articles on a variety of aspects of French colonialism, he has also published two edited volumes: one (with J. P. Daughton) on French missionaries, the other on social organization in modern empires. He is now writing a history of wine production in French Algeria. He received his B.A. from the University of Exeter and his doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Publications

Books:

  • Children of the French Empire: Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa, 1895-1960 (Oxford University Press, 1999)

Edited Volumes

  • (with J.P. Daughton): In God’s Empire: French Missionaries and the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2012)
  • The Rise and Fall of Modern Empires, Volume I: Social Organisation (Ashgate, 2013)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Roll Out the Barrel: French and Algerian Ports and the Birth of the Wine Tanker," French Politics, Culture and Society, summer 2017
  • (with Elizabeth Heath): "The French Empire and the History of Economic Life," French Politics, Culture and Society, summer 2017
  • “Conquest and Cohabitation: French Men's Relations with West African Women in the 1890s and 1900s,” in Martin Thomas (ed.), The French Colonial Mind, volume 2: Violence, Military Encounters, and Colonialism (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)
  • "Drunken States: Temperance and French Rule in Côte d'Ivoire, 1908-1916," Journal of Social History, spring 2007
  • "Priests into Frenchmen? Breton Missionaries in Côte d'Ivoire, 1896-1918," French Colonial History, 2007
  • "Networking: Freemasons and the Colonial State in French West Africa, 1895-1914," French History, March 2005
  • "The Decivilizing Mission: Auguste Dupuis-Yakouba and French Timbuktu," French Historical Studies, summer 2004
  • "Miscegenation and the Popular Imagination," in T. Chafer and A. Sackur (eds.), Promoting the Colonial Idea: Propaganda and Visions of Empire in France (Palgrave, 2001)

 

 

In God’s Empire: French Missionaries and the Modern WorldWhite, OwenJ.P. DaughtonOxford University Press2013https://global.oup.com/academic/product/in-gods-empire-9780195396447?cc=us&lang=en&<p>​A collection of original essays by leading scholars in the field, <em>In God's Empire</em> examines the complex ways in which the spread of Christianity by French men and women shaped local communities, French national prowess, and global politics in the two centuries following the French Revolution. More than a story of religious proselytism, missionary activity was an essential feature of French contact and interaction with local populations. In many parts of the world, missionaries were the first French men and women to work and live among indigenous societies. For all the celebration of France's secular "civilizing mission," it was more often than not religious workers who actually fulfilled the daily tasks of running schools, hospitals, and orphanages. While their work was often tied to small villages, missionaries' interactions had geopolitical implications. Focusing on many regions - from the Ottoman Empire and North America to Indochina and the Pacific Ocean - this book explores how France used missionaries' long connections with local communities as a means of political influence and justification for colonial expansion. <em>In God's Empire</em> offers readers both an overview of the major historical dimensions of the French evangelical enterprise, as well as an introduction to the theoretical and methodological challenges of placing French missionary work within the context of European, imperial, religious history, and world history.</p>
The Rise and Fall of Modern Empires, Volume I: Social OrganisationWhite, OwenAshgate2013https://www.routledge.com/The-Rise-and-Fall-of-Modern-Empires-Volume-I-Social-Organization/White/p/book/9781409433972<p>​This collection brings together twenty-one articles that explore the diverse impact of modern empires on societies around the world since 1800. Colonial expansion changed the lives of colonised peoples in multiple ways relating to work, the environment, law, health and religion. Yet empire-builders were never working with a blank slate: colonial rule involved not just coercion but also forms of cooperation with elements of local society, while the schemes of the colonisers often led to unexpected outcomes. Covering not only western European nations but also the Ottomans, Russians and Japanese, whose empires are less frequently addressed in collections, this volume provides insight into a crucial aspect of modern world history.</p>
Children of the French Empire: Miscegenation and Colonial Society in French West Africa, 1895-1960White, OwenOxford University Press1999https://global.oup.com/academic/product/children-of-the-french-empire-9780198208198?cc=us&lang=en&<p>​This book vividly recreates the lives and identities of the children born of relationships between French men and African women in colonial French West Africa. It shows how colonial policies and attitudes influenced the lives of this mixed-race population and analyzes their responses to living in a racially divided society.</p>

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