From Motherhood to Citizenhood: Re-Writing Female Travelers in French Republican Colonialism

With special guest, Anne-Caroline Sieffert, Brown University

Les Grandes Voyageuses

In 1898, Marie Dronsart published Les Grandes Voyageuses, the first French anthology on European female travelers. In its preface, she linked travel writing with the colonial work underway in all parts of the world while underscoring the role female travelers should play in the colonial project. Since Dronsart, however, historians and literary critics have shied away from studying the role progressively given to female travelers during the French empire.


What is that role? How does it help defining—or redefining—citizenhood in France?


Through the example of four female travelers, we will attempt to re-write women in the modern mythology of French nationhood, and ask whether France can re-inscribe itself in history, or whether it is stuck in a cosmology of nineteenth-century (white) male masculinity.



Monday, October 26th 1-2:15 pm Schmitt Hall, Room 104


Co-sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies


For more information please contact Dr. Elizabeth Emery (