The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Eric Jennings

Distinguished Professor, History of France and the Francophone World

Office Location:  Northrop Frye Hall, Room 310


My areas of interest include 19th and 20th century France, French colonialism, decolonization, and the francophone world.  I am the author of six monographs and an edited volume.  My latest books include Perspectives on French Colonial Madagascar (Palgrave, 2017), as well as Escape from Vichy: The Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean (Harvard, 2018).  The latter explores the experiences of some 5000 refugees who absconded from mainland France via the island of Martinique in late 1940 and 1941, analyzing the ensuing confluences between surrealism and negritude.

I have penned roughly fifty refereed chapters and articles straddling the histories of France, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa, and the Caribbean.  These include contributions to the following edited volumes: L’Histoire mondiale de la France (Patrick Boucheron, ed.); World War II in the West Indies (Karen Eccles and Debbie McCollin, eds); Africa and World War II (Judith Byfield et al., eds.); The Routledge History of Western Empires (Robert Aldrich and Kirsten Mackenzie eds.); and The Cambridge History of the Vietnam War (forthcoming)I co-edited l’Empire colonial sous Vichy with Jacques Cantier (Odile Jacob).  In addition to English and French, some of my work has also appeared in Vietnamese, Bengali, Italian, Hebrew and Chinese.

My research has garnered support from a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship, as well as the CIHR and multiple SSHRC grants.  It has also received several prizes: the Alf Heggoy (French Colonial Historical Society), the Fetkann Research Prize, the Prix des Ambassadeurs, the Prix Jean-François Coste (Académie nationale de médecine), as well as the Palmes académiques.

Authored Publications:


  • PhD, University of California-Berkeley
  • MA, University of Toronto
  • BA, University of Toronto
Photo of Eric Jennings