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Alice Conklin

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, 2019

Alice L. Conklin is professor in the Department of History. She is a historian of modern France and its empire, with a focus on racism in liberal societies. Her most recent book is In the Museum of Man: Race, Anthropology and Empire in France, 1850-1950 (Cornell, 2013), which won the David H. Pinkney Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies and the Senior Book Prize from the Ohio Academy of History. An illustrated French edition of the book, Exposer l’humanité: race, ethnologie et empire en France, 1850-1950 (Editions scientifiques du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle) appeared in 2015. She is also the author of A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895-1930 (Stanford University Press, 1997), which won the Berkshire Prize for Best Book by a Woman. She was the lead author on France and Its Empire since 1870 (Oxford, [2010] 2014) and co-authored European Imperialism, 1830-1930: Climax and Contradictions (Houghton Mifflin, 1998). Her articles have appeared in such journals as the American Historical ReviewFrench Historical StudiesOsirisFrench PoliticsCulture and Society and Cahiers d’études africaines. She has received several national and international awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a German Marshall Fund Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship. In 2016, she was one of six Ohio State faculty to receive a Distinguished Scholar Award.

She has been teaching at all levels of the curriculum since 1991, first at the University of Rochester (Karp Prize for Distinguished Teaching, 1998) and since 2004 at Ohio State. She offers courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels on France and its empire, modern colonialism and the transnational history of the idea of race. In May 2018, she inaugurated a May term study abroad on inclusion, and exclusion in the francophone world and accompanied 25 undergraduates drawn from Ohio State's diverse populations to France and Morocco. She is currently advising five doctoral students.

Conklin is at work on a transnational history of antiracism at UNESCO between 1950 and 1965 when ideals for cooperation among a global coalition of experts and activists in the struggle against racism collided with unforeseen political realignments triggered by decolonization and the Cold War.