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Ohio University Press · Swallow Press · www.ohioswallow.com

Militarizing Marriage
West African Soldiers’ Conjugal Traditions in Modern French Empire

By Sarah J. Zimmerman

Militarizing Marriage’s focus on African soldiers’ conjugal unions, households, and trans-imperial sexual relationships adds exciting new dimensions to the historiography of colonial militaries and their roles in imperial conquest, occupation, as well as in the world wars.”

Michelle R. Moyd, author of Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa

“An original, significant contribution to the field of African History, Zimmerman’s thoroughly researched and insightful study on French colonial martial traditions discusses how the conjugal relationships between West African tirailleurs sénégalais soldiers and local women over Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia—and their resulting mixed-race children—represented a challenge to the French colonial racial hierarchy”

Tim Stapleton, author of Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century

Following tirailleurs sénégalais’ deployments in West Africa, Congo, Madagascar, North Africa, Syria-Lebanon, Vietnam, and Algeria from the 1880s to 1962, Militarizing Marriage historicizes how African servicemen advanced conjugal strategies with women at home and abroad. Sarah J. Zimmerman examines the evolution of women’s conjugal relationships with West African colonial soldiers to show how the sexuality, gender, and exploitation of women were fundamental to the violent colonial expansion and the everyday operation of colonial rule in modern French Empire. These conjugal behaviors became military marital traditions that normalized the intimate manifestation of colonial power in social reproduction across the empire. Soldiers’ cross-colonial and interracial households formed at the intersection of race and sexuality outside the colonizer/colonized binary. Militarizing Marriage uses contemporary feminist scholarship on militarism and violence to portray how the subjugation of women was indispensable to military conquest and colonial rule.

Sarah J. Zimmerman is associate professor in the History Department at Western Washington University. Her research focuses on the experiences of women and the operation of gender in West Africa and French Empire. She has published articles in the International Journal of African Historical Studies and Les Temps Modernes.   More info →

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Hardcover available May 12, 2020.
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In Series

War and Militarism in African History

Formats

Hardcover
978-0-8214-2422-3
Retail price: $80.00, S.
Release date: May 2020
13 illus. · 312 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4067-4
Release date: May 2020
13 illus. · 312 pages
Rights:  World

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