Dr Berny Sèbe Maîtrise (Aix-en-Provence), D.Phil (Oxon), FRHistS, FRGS, FHEA

Dr Berny Sèbe

Department of Modern Languages
Senior Lecturer in colonial and post-colonial studies

Contact details

Address
Ashley Building
Room 305
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

My research interests revolve around the colonial and post-colonial encounters between European and non-European worlds, in particular in the cultural and political realms. My recent works look at the making of imperial heroes in Britain and France since the era of 'New imperialism' (second half of the nineteenth century), the history of the conquest and decolonization of the Sahara, Franco-African relations since the Second World War as well as the 'Echoes of Empire' which resonate in the European project. I also engage regularly in comparative studies of French, British and Spanish imperialisms.

Biography

I was born in Nice (Provence, France) and partly brought up in the Sahara desert, where I have been travelling since I was a child. For that reason, I was educated through the CNED (National Centre for Distance Learning, France). During that period, I became closely associated to the activities of my father, the French desert photographer and publisher Alain Sèbe, with whom I still regularly publish photographic books. I studied for my first degree (licence) and Master’s (maîtrise) at the University of Aix-en-Provence, and for my doctorate at the University of Oxford (D.Phil in Imperial and Commonwealth History). During my time there, I also organised the Oxford University Expedition to Mauritania. My first full-time academic position was at the university of Durham, where I was a lecturer in African and imperial history (2007-8) until I joined the University of Birmingham in 2008.

Teaching

I teach a range of modules on the political and social history of the Francophone world for the Modern Languages Department. For instance, I teach a final-year option on ‘Franco-African relations from de Gaulle to Sarkozy’ and I contribute to the teaching of core modules in Modern Languages, exploring the role of the Francophonie in the world. I also contribute to the teaching of the ‘Cinema, Media and Visual Culture’ module, with sessions on memory documentaries and Francophone postcolonial film.

At postgraduate level, I am the Programme co-lead of the MA in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies which I have developed together with my colleague Dr Louise Hardwick. I teach the MA module 'Before postcolonialism: Europe and its empires', and convene and teach on the co-taught module 'World literature and film I'.

I am involved in the supervision of several PhD students (see below under 'postgraduate supervision'), and have successfully supervised two PhD students.

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to offer postgraduate research supervision in the following fields:

  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • British and French imperial history
  • Decolonisation and the End of Empire
  • Colonial memory
  • Nineteenth and Twentieth French History

I supervise or co-supervises MA dissertation students in the above mentioned areas, and perform the role of PhD supervisor for several PhD theses:

  • Dunya Ismael (as lead supervisor): ‘Retro-cultural translation: neutralising cultural capital accumulation and power balance in the context of post-2003 Iraq’
  • Ann Kiatkowski (as lead supervisor), ‘Les Filles du Roi: Gender and Migration in French North America’
  • Sam Antony Kocheri Clement (as lead supervisor): ‘Benevolent Proselytes or Disguised Imperialists? Cultural Imperialism and Missionary Activities in India 1813–1900’
  • Sonia Lamrani  (as lead supervisor): ‘Self-Orientalism in the Post-colonial novel’
  • Mouna Lekkal  (as lead supervisor): ‘Representation of the Algerian War of Independence in the British Media: the BBC, the FLN and decolonisation’
  • Sarah Mechkarini  (as lead supervisor): ‘Alienation and Identity in Anglophone and Francophone African Novels: Mouloud Mammeri’s Le Sommeil du juste, Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong'o’s The River Between, Assia Djebar’s L’Amour, la fantasia and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions’
  • Geoffrey Reis (as co-supervisor): ‘Desert voices: literary representations of the Sahara since the colonial period and beyond’
  • Degasian Rutherford (as lead supervisor): ‘Quasi-Ornamentalism in the Urban Landscape of Colonial Hong Kong: Appropriation, Imperial construction and Resistance, 1840 – Present.
  • Sarah Pymm (as co-supervisor): ‘L'aventure humaine: Sprituality, myth and power in the travel writings of Louise Weiss’
  • Sourour Salhi  (as lead supervisor): ‘Towards a global appraisal of the African past: A Postcolonial Comparative Study of Franco-Algerian and Anglo-Nigerian Literatures from Subalternity to ‘Stable Hybridity’
  • Amina Zarzi  (as lead supervisor): ‘The Representation of the Algerian Sahara desert in the French Colonial Imagination and its Resonance in the Expressions of Identity of Postcolonial Algerian Literature’

 Completed theses:

  • Claire Peters, ‘Interdisciplinary approaches to the cultural memory of the Occupation and the Algerian War: Representations of the City in Modiano, Haneke and Maspero’ (September 2013
  • Sophie Tanniou, ‘Postcolonial Francophone Literature from West and Equatorial Africa: Colonial Heritage and Postcolonial Histories’ (July 2015).

Find out more - our PhD French Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

Research

My research interests lie mainly in the history of nineteenth and twentieth century European imperialisms, decolonization and post-colonialism, with particular emphasis on the popular reception of imperialism and Empire-related subjects in the metropolitan centres and the multiple ways in which the colonial past still contributes to shaping he post-colonial present.

My book Heroic Imperialists in Africa: The Promotion of British and French Colonial Heroes, 1870-1939 looks at the processes of selection, construction and promotion of colonial heroes in Britain and in France between 1870 and the Second World War. It has led me to consider the variety of media which were used to promote the imperial idea in the metropolises, the networks of producers and systems of patronage which sustained them, and the reception of heroic propaganda by various types of audience. Drawing upon a variety of unpublished archives, it also analysed the various political, economic and individual interests which these cultural constructions served. This research has given rise to a follow-on project on the post-colonial reputation of European imperial heroes in Africa and in the former metropoles, which has given rise, among others, to a special issue of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (November 2014) and a book, Decolonising Imperial Heroes: Cultural Legacies of the British and French Empires (2016), co-edited with Max Jones, Bertrand Taithe and Peter Yeandle. I am also the co-investigator of the AHRC-funded 'Hero Project' which explores and re-appraises the role of the hero in twenty-first century Britain. Working with Abbie Garrington (University of Newcastle, principal investigator) and Natasha Danilova (University of Aberdeen, co-investigator), I am particularly interested in the place of the British imperial hero in the post-colonial age.

I also work on the legacy of Europe’s colonial past upon the EU and in its relations with the rest of the world. Developing comparative approaches to European imperialisms allows us to evaluate the extent to which colonial expansion stemmed from a core of shared assumptions and values while exacerbating political and economic rivalries, and how these conflicting roots and effects are negotiated in the post-colonial world against which the EU took shape. As part of this strand, I have co-edited with Kalypso Nicolaidis and Gabi Maas Echoes Of Empire: Memory, Identity and the Legacy of Imperialism (2015)

I am the Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded research project 'Outposts of Conquest: the History and Legacy of the Fortresses of the Steppe and the Sahara in Comparative Perspective, from the 1840s to the present-day'. Through the case-study of colonial fortifications, this joint project with Alexander Morrison (New College, Oxford) analyses the strategies of conquest and administration of two Christian powers which encroached at roughly the same time into arid environments populated by predominantly Muslim nomads. More information on www.birmingham.ac.uk/forts. This project has given rise to a high-impact circulating exhibition entitled Empire of Emptiness: Fortresses of the Sahara and the Steppe.

On a more general level, I am interested in the history of Third- and Fourth-Republic France, and in Franco-British relations since the mid-nineteenth century.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and the Higher Education Academy, and I have been a member of the AHRC's Peer Review College since 2012. I am also a Member of the Board of the French charity La Rahla/Les Sahariens. In Birmingham, I am an active member of the FRANCOPOCO Network and I co-ordinate the Postcolonial Birmingham research network, which I founded.

Areas of interest

  • British and French imperial history; decolonisation; post-colonialism
  • British and French popular imperialism
  • Comparative European colonialisms
  • History of the Sahara from 1880 to the present
  • Late modern French history; Franco-British relations

Other activities

I regularly feature on regional, national and international radio and TV programmes, commenting on a range of topics related to French history and politics; European colonial and imperial history; post-colonialism; the history of West Africa and the Sahara as well as current events in the Middle East and North Africa (the so-called 'Arab Spring' and its aftermath: French interventions in Mali and the Central African Republic; the security situation in Libya and the Sahara, etc.).

I am also the Head of Internationalization for the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music.

Publications

Monograph

Editorship

  • Co-editor (with Max Jones, Bertrand Taithe and Peter Yeandle): Decolonising Imperial Heroes. British and French Cultures of Empire (Routledge, 2016).

Essays and articles

  •    ‘MacKenzie-ites without Borders: Or how a set of concepts, ideas and methods went global’, in Stephanie Barczewski and Martin Farr (ed.), The MacKenzie Moment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
  •    ‘Cross-cultural memory in post-colonial contexts: European imperial heroes in twenty-first-century Africa’ in Dirk Goettsche (ed.), Memory and Postcolonial Studies (Peter Lang, 2019).
  •    ‘Les forts sahariens aux XIXe et XXe siècles: Montrer la puissance coloniale dans le désert’, in Walter Bruyère-Ostells and Patrick Louvier (ed.), Les Armes dans les Relations Internationales (Presses de l’université de Rennes, 2019).
  •  ‘Exhibiting the Empire in print: The Press, the Publishing World and the Promotion of Greater Britain’, in John M. MacKenzie and John McAleer (eds.), Exhibiting the Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), pp. 168-93. ISBN 978 0 7190 9109 4 . 
  • ‘From Post-Colonialism to Cosmopolitan Nation-Building? British and French Imperial Heroes in Twenty-First Century Africa’Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 42:5 (December 2014), pp. 936-68. DOI 10.1080/03086534.2014.959720
  • ‘Decolonising Imperial Heroes: Britain and France’, with Max Jones, Bertrand Taithe, John Strachan and Peter Yeandle. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 42:5 (December 2014), pp. 787-825. DOI 10.1080/03086534.2014.959715
  • ‘From heroes to national symbols: British and French “heroic imperialists” as sites of memory’, in Dominik Geppert and Frank Muller (eds.), Imperial Sites of Memory(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), pp. 95-114ISBN 9780719090813
  • ‘Towards cosmopolitan perspectives on empires and their echoes? The case for a European framework’, in Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Berny Sèbe and Gabi Maas (eds.), Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and the Legacy of Imperialism (London: IB Tauris Publishers, 2015), pp. 123-40. ISBN 9781784530518 (hardback) / 9781784530518 (paperback)
  • ‘Le rôle des fortifications dans les stratégies de conquête et de pacification des espaces désertiques : les exemples russe en Asie centrale et français dans le « Grand Sud » algérien (XIXe-XXe siècles)’ (With Alexander Morrison), in S. El Mechat (ed.), Coloniser, pacifier, administrer: XIXe -XXIe siècles (Paris: CNRS Editions, 2014), pp. 57-88. ISBN 978 2 271 07976 3
  • ‘The Making of British and French Legends of Exploration, 1821-1914’, in Dane Kennedy (ed.), Exploration: Reassessing the West’s Encounter with the Rest (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 109-31. ISBN 978 0 199 75534 9.
  • ‘A fragmented and forgotten decolonization: the end of European empires in the Sahara and their legacy’, in Tony Chafer and Alex Keese (eds.), Francophone Africa at Fifty (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp. 204-18. ISBN 978 0 7190 8930 5.
  • ‘Les Etats-Unis et la décolonisation du Sahara français : une non-intervention bienveillante?’, in Jean Fremigacci, Daniel Lefeuvre and Marc Michel (eds.), Démontage d’empires (Paris: Editions Riveneuve, 2013), pp. 59-88. ISBN 978 2 36013 149 5.
  • ‘Itinéraires intellectuels et méthodologiques en Grande-Bretagne : de la « Imperial History » aux « Postcolonial Studies » en passant par les « French Studies »’, in M. Suchet et al., Postcolonial Studies: mode d’emploi (Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 2013), pp. 51-58. ISBN 978 2 729708573.
  • ‘The Selling of British and French Imperial Heroes in Africa, 1870-1939’, in Wm. R. Louis (ed.), Resurgent Adventures with Britannia (London: IB Tauris, 2012), pp. 45-60. ISBN 978 1 78076 057 5.
  • ‘Justifying “New Imperialism”: The Making of Colonial Heroes, 1857-1902’, in David Welch and Jo Fox (eds.), Justifying War (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 46-67. ISBN 978 0 230246270.
  • ‘Exalting imperial grandeur: the French Empire and its metropolitan public’, in John M. MacKenzie (ed.), European Empires and the People (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp. 19-56. ISBN 978 0 7190 7994 8 (hardback) – 978 0 7190 7995 5 (paperback).
  • ‘La puissance de l’Empire britannique, 1815-1931’, in Michel Rapoport (ed.), Les mondes britanniques1815-1931 (Paris: Editions Atlande, 2010), pp. 97-131. ISBN 978 2 7011 5410 7.
  • ‘In the shadow of the Algerian war: the United States and the Common Organisation of Saharan Regions/Organisation commune des régions sahariennes(OCRS), 1957-62’Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 38:2 (June 2010), pp. 303-322. DOI 10.1080/03086531003743999
  • ‘Porte-drapeaux de l’Empire : la promotion des héros coloniaux français et britanniques de la conquête de l’Afrique à la Seconde Guerre mondiale’Synergies Royaume-Uni et Irlande2 (2009), pp. 81-92.
  • ‘Colonial celebrities in popular culture: Heroes of the British and French empires in the media, 1850-2000’, in R. Clarke (ed.), Celebrity Colonialism (Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008), pp. 37-54. ISBN 978 1 4438 1351 8
  • ‘Aventurières et voyageuses en Afrique de l’Ouest’, in R. Little (ed.), Actes du Colloque international Lucie Cousturier, Les tirailleurs sénégalais et la question coloniale, (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2008), pp. 163-186. ISBN 978 2 296 07348 7.
  • ‘From Thoissey to the Capital via Fashoda: Major Marchand, partisan icon of the Right in Paris’, in J. Irons (ed.), Paris and the Right in the Twentieth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006). ISBN 1 84718 094 9.
  • ‘Conquérir le désert et organiser le vide : éléments de réflexion sur les fortifications, outils de contrôle des espaces sahariens’, Mondes et Cultures, bulletin de l’Académie des Sciendes d’Outre-Mer, LXXV (2015), pp. 239-58.

Selected non-academic publications

  • Sahara au jour le jour (with Alain Sèbe) (Paris: Editions de La Martinière, 2010).
  • Tibesti, Sahara interdit (ed., with Alain Sèbe) (Vidauban: Alain Sèbe Images, 2005).
  • Sahara, the Atlantic to the Nile, photos Alain Sèbe (London: Hachette Illustrated, 2003).
  • Saharas, entre Atlantique et Nil, photos Alain Sèbe (Paris: Editions du Chêne, 2001).
  • Redjem, Libye des grands espaces, photos Alain Sèbe and Berny Sèbe (Vidauban: Alain Sèbe Images, 2000).
  • Alain Sèbe, L’Image du Sahara (Vidauban: Alain Sèbe Images, 1999).

Conference and seminar papers

  • ‘The political role of the heroes of “New Imperialism”: A Franco-British perspective (1870-1939)’, Leuven University (Belgium), 13 October 2018.
  •  ‘Cross-cultural memory in post-colonial contexts: European imperial heroes in twenty-first-century Africa’, University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, 13 February 2018.
  •  ‘Au-delà de Rhodes Must Fall : une nouvelle vie pour les héros coloniaux français et britanniques en Afrique ?’, University Paris VIII, 12 February 2018.
  •  ‘Beyond L'Atlantide and Beau Geste: Desert fortifications and the French conquest of the Sahara (1880s to the present day)’, University of Warwick, 15 November 2017.
  •  ‘Beyond mirages : Researching the Sahara’, keynote lecture for the annual PGR conference of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies, University of Lancaster, 16 June 2017.
  •  ‘Empire Projects: Imperial Connections and Competition’, University of Oxford, 29 May 2017.
  •  ‘Exhibiting the Empire in print : the publishing world and the promotion of Greater Britain’, University Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, 4 April 2017.
  •  ‘Géographies impériales : le monde de l’édition et la promotion de la « Plus Grande Bretagne »’, Aix-Marseille Université, 31 March 2017.
  •  ‘Oblivion, nostalgia and passion in a post-imperial context: Desert memories in Britain and in France after 1960’, The End of Empire international Conference, University of Birmingham with support from The Past and Present Society, 12 January 2017.
  •  ‘Les forts sahariens au XIXe siècle : Montrer la puissance coloniale dans le désert’, Institut d’études politiques d’Aix-en-Provence, 02 December 2016.
  •  ‘Porte-drapeaux de l’Empire : La promotion des héros coloniaux français et britanniques à l’ère du « Nouvel impérialisme » (1870-1939)’, University of Poitiers, 3 November 2016.
  •   ‘Silent Sentinels in Seas of Sand: Fortresses in the Sahara, 1850s to the present day’, Centre for postcolonial studies, Institute of Historical Research, London, 21 September 2016.
  •   ‘The Afterlives of imperial heroes: between metropolitan decline and post-colonial revival in the ex-colonies ?’, Festschrift conference in honour of John MacKenzie, The Burn, 7 July 2016.
  •  ‘Cross-cultural post-colonial memories: European Colonial Heroes in post-independence Africa’, international symposium ‘Memories and Postcolonial Studies: Synergies and new directions’, University of Nottingham, 10 June 2016.
  •   ‘D’un héroïsme à l’autre : l’image des explorateurs dans les grands récits nationaux’, bookshop Les Manguiers, Brazzaville, 13 May 2016.
  •   ‘La promotion des héros coloniaux français et britanniques à travers les médias et l’édition’, ‘Images & Histoire festival, French Cultural Institute, Brazzaville, 11 May 2016.
  •  ‘Les héritages coloniaux et géostratégiques face aux “printemps arabes”: une clé de recherche pour les réponses occidentales depuis 2011 ?’, University of Aix-en-Provence, 22 April 2016.
  •  ‘Empires du vide : La Grande-Bretagne, la France et la Russie à la conquête des espaces désertiques (XIXe-XXe siècles)’,  University of Aix-en-Provence, 20 April 2016.
  •  ‘Conquête réussie mais decolonisation ratée ? Les enjeux géostratégiques du Sahara depuis les indépendances, entre héritage historique et nouvelles dynamiques socio-politiques’, HIRISS Seminar, University of Montpellier, 14 April 2016.
  •  ‘Les héros coloniaux français et britanniques, de l’ère du nouvel impérialisme à la seconde guerre mondiale’, Séminaire général de l’institut des sciences sociales du politique, University Paris-Ouest, 25 March 2016.
  •  ‘Empires du vide: les forteresses françaises au Sahara et russes en Asie centrale’, Rendez-vous de l’histoire de Blois, Blois, 10 October 2015.
  •  ‘Une Immortelle postcoloniale, entre réforme et contestation? Assia Djebar à l’Académie française’, international conference Présences d’Assia Djebar, University of Oxford and Maison française d’Oxford, 9 October 2015.
  •  ‘Echoes of Empire: Memory, Identity and Colonial Legacies’, roundtable at the University of Birmingham, 30 September 2015. 
  • 'Empire-making revisited? British and French Colonial Heroes on screen in the interwar years', University of Exeter, 8 June 2015.
  • 'How did the Lion's paws and the Cockerel's spurs 'scratch the sand’ and bite the dust? A comparative approach to British and French strategies of conquest in the Sahara, international conference “Among Empires: the British Empire in Global Imperial Context », Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 27 May 2015.
  • 'La question de l’état dans les zones sahariennes », colloque international « L’état dans le monde arabe', University Paris IV-Sorbonne, 21 May 2015.
  • Presentation of my book Heroic Imperialists in AfricaUniversity Paris XII-Créteil, 12 May 2015.
  • Presentation of my book Heroic imperialists in AfricaUniversity Paris VII, 7 May 2015.
  • 'Conquérir le désert et organiser le vide ? Éléments de réflexion sur les fortifications, outil de contrôle des espaces sahariens', French Academy for Overseas Science, 6 May 2015.
  • Presentation of Echoes of Empire (Nicolaïdis, Sèbe & Maas, eds.)University of Montpellier-Paul Valéry, 9 April 2015.
  • Presentation of my book Heroic Imperialists in Africa, University of Montpellier-Paul Valéry, 7 April 2015.
  • Presentation of Echoes of Empire (Nicolaïdis, Sèbe & Maas, eds.)University of Oxford, 13 March 2015.
  • 'The logistics of Beau Geste: French fortresses in the Sahara since the late nineteenth century'. University of Southampton, 22 October 2014.
  • 'Looking across the Pyrenees in search for inspiration? The French empire in twentieth-century Spanish colonial thinking'. Workshop The Politics of Colonial Comparison, All Souls College, University of Oxford, 29 September 2014.
  •  'Partir pour mieux rester? (To leave in order to stay)? Franco-African relations since independence in the light of British strategies in Anglophone Africa (1960s to the present)'. Conference Britain, France & Africa, University College London, 9 June 2014.
  • 'One people, one goal, one faith'? Balkanisation, Tuareg separatism and Political Islam in the Sahel region. St Antony's College, University of Oxford, 7 February 2014.
  •  'Heroic Imperialists in Africa', book presentation, Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham, 15 January 2014.
  • ‘Conflicts in the Sahara: the many lives of the Tuareg question in Northern Mali, from localized rebellion to global Jihad’, Changing Character of War seminar, University of Oxford, 28 May 2013.
  • ‘Using visual materials to enhance impact’, Using Visual Materials in Research/Teaching Study Day, University of Portsmouth, 23 May 2013.
  • 'Storm warning on the Maghreb's hinterland: jihadism, counter-terrorism and instability in the Sahara regions'. Modern Maghreb Research Workshop, University of Oxford, 10 May 2013.
  • ‘Looking for Traces of Empires, from Kazakhstan to Algeria: Military Architecture in Russian and French Colonies’, University of Birmingham Culture Festival, 19 March 2013.
  • 'Outposts of Conquest: the fortresses of the Steppe and the Sahara in comparative perspective', Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford, 7 November 2012.
  • 'Re-thinking the Decolonization of the Sahara beyond Nation-states', Africa History and Politics Seminar, University of Oxford, 5 November 2012.
  • 'A fragmented and forgotten decolonization: the end of European empires in the Sahara and their legacy’, Modern Maghreb Research Workshop, University of Oxford, 11 May 2012.
  • ‘Heroic Imperialists : Promoting the Heroes of the British and French Empires in Africa (1870-1939)’, University of Newcastle, 10 May 2012.
  • ‘The call of the desert in the Western world’, ‘Café des sciences humaines et sociales’, Cultural Services of the French consulate in Shanghai, 29 April 2012.
  • ‘Le Sahara et ses habitants dans l’imaginaire français’, University of Nankin, Nankin, 26 April 2012
  • ‘L’appel du désert dans le monde occidental’, Alliance Française, Shanghai, 25 April 2012.
  • ‘Les forts sahariens et la pacification du « Grand Sud » algérien (1883- 1930)’, international conference ‘Les Administrations coloniales et la « pacification », XIXe-XXe siècles’, Institut d’histoire du temps présent & Ecole militaire, Paris, 23-24 March 2012
  • ‘The making of the ‘hero of Fashoda’ and the ‘Sudan machine’: Metropolitan celebrations of Marchand and Kitchener as ‘imperial sites of memory’, international conference Imperial Sites of Memory Conference, University of St Andrews, 4-5 September 2011.
  • ‘Imperial dialogues: British and French conceptions and interpretations of Empire’, international conference Colonial Circulations: Colonialism in Comparative Perspective. University of Bristol, 4-5 July 2011
  • 'Pour un dialogue franco-britannique autour du passé colonial : les empires comme préalable à la mondialisation ?’, Cultures in Dialogue international conference, French  Institute, London, 14 May 2011
  • ‘Representations of Shaykh Ma al Aynin in French and Spanish colonial writings and official discourse between the 1880s and the 1930s’, Modern Morocco Research Workshop, University of Oxford, 12 March 2011
  • ‘“Celebrating” British and French Imperialism: The Making of Colonial Heroes acting in Africa, 1870-1939’, History Seminar, University of Lancaster, 16 February 2011.
  • ‘People of the Veil: Depicting the Sahara and its Inhabitants’, CWAS Research Seminar, University of Birmingham, 15 February 2011
  • ‘“Celebrating” British and French Imperialism: The Making of Colonial Heroes acting in Africa, 1870-1939’, Birmingham Contemporary History Seminar, University of Birmingham, 26 January 2011
  • ‘Europe and its Colonial Legacies: Negotiating Europe’s place in a post-imperial world’, with Steffen Prauser, Jose Lingna Nafafe and Natalia Sobrevilla, ERI Cross-College Event organised by Tim Haughton, University of Birmingham, 8 December 2010.
  • ‘Les revues britanniques et françaises et l’idée impériale : perspectives croisées ?’, Journée des revues organised by the Réseau Culture F-B, Institute of Historical Research, London, 26 November 2010.
  • ‘A fragmented and forgotten decolonization: the end of the French empire in the Sahara’, 1960: the ‘Year of Africa’ and French decolonisation re-visited A ‘French solution’ for sub-Saharan Africa?conference, University of Portsmouth, 6 September 2010.
  • ‘No More Heroes Anymore’, Group for War and Culture Studies Seminar, University of Westminster, 23 June 2010.
  • ‘La décolonisation du Sahara français (1957-1962) : une « fin d’empire » à la croisée des chemins’, Annual conference of the French Colonial History Society, 19 June 2010.
  • ‘Itinéraires intellectuels et méthodologiques de la « imperial history » aux « Postcolonial Studies » (en passant par les « French Studies »)’, Postcolonial Studies: directions for useconference, Ecole Normale Supérieure Langues et Sciences Humaines, Lyon, 4 juin 2010.
  • ‘Colonial Partition, End-of-Empire Unification and Chaotic Independence: The Postcolonial Fragmentation of the Sahara and its Peoples, 1951-1989’, Seminar ‘Independence and Decolonization’, Institute of Historical Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 15-17 April 2010.
  • ‘An image under colonial influence: the legend of Ma Al Aynin in Spain and in France’, ‘Modern Morocco Research Workshop’, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, 12 March 2010.
  • ‘Les Etats-Unis et la décolonisation du Sahara français : une non-intervention bienveillante?’, Conference Démonter les empires coloniaux, Archives d’outre-mer d’Aix-en-Provence, 4-5 March 2010.
  • ‘Imperial heroes in British and French popular culture, 1850-1939’, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 30 November 2009.
  • ‘Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Imperial/Colonial History: The merits of cross-fertilization’, Annual Conference of the Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies, London, 20-1 November 2009.
  • CelebratingBritish and French imperialism: the Making of British and French colonial Heroes actin in Africa’, University of Birmingham, 17 November 2009.
  • ‘Under Livingstone’s shadow? The making of French imperial heroes under the Third Republic’, Modern French History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 11 May 2009.
  • ‘The Conquest of the French Sahara’, ‘New directions in French/Algerian history’, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, 1 May 2009.
  • ‘Strategies of Conquest in the Sahara’, National History Center panel, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, 4 January 2009.
  • ‘Justifying “New Imperialism”: The Making of Colonial Heroes, 1857-1898’, Justifying War: Propaganda, Politics and War in the Modern Ageconference, University of Kent, 10 July 2008.
  • ‘Confronting or endorsing French late colonial designs? Algerian and American reactions to the Organisation Commune des Régions Sahariennes, 1957-1962’, Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of French History (SSFH), Aberystwyth, 4 July 2008
  • ‘La gloire des empires français et britannique : les représentations des héros coloniaux en Afrique (1870-1939)’, Centenary of the Franco-British Exhibition (London 1908) International Conference, Arts et cultures au tournant du siècle, Institut Français du Royaume-Uni (IFRU), London, 25-27 June 2008.
  • ‘Aventurières et voyageuses en Afrique de l’Ouest’, Colloque international Lucie Cousturier, Les tirailleurs sénégalais et la question coloniale, Espace culturel de Port-Fréjus, Fréjus, 13-14 June 2008.
  • ‘Perspectives on European sea-borne imperialisms: the British and French experiences’, Conference “Echoes of Imperialism: Re-Thinking European Colonialisms”, University of Oxford, 9 May 2008.
  • ‘British and French popular culture of Empire’, Departmental Seminar, University of Durham, 20 February 2008.
  • 'Explorateurs et conquérants du Sahara’, Villa aurélienne, Fréjus, 20 November 2007.
  • 'L'inscription des héros coloniaux dans le quotidien français et britannique’, Marc Bloch Centre for Social Sciences (in partnership with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Berlin, 6 July 2007.
  • CelebratingBritish and French imperialism: The Making of Colonial Heroes acting in Africa, 1870-1939’, Imperial History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 5 February 2007.
  • ‘Icons of Empire: British and French Imperial Heroes, 1870-1930’, 1st Conference in Imperial and Commonwealth History, Sheffield Univeristy, 25 May 2006.
  • ‘Spreading universalities: British and French imperial heroes, 1850-1940’, Sixth Harvard Graduate Student Conference, Harvard University, 17-18 March 2006.
  • ‘L'appel du désert’, Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Clermont-Ferrand, 12 May 2005.
  • ‘The Making of British and French Imperial Heroes (1870-1930)’, Cambridge World History Workshop, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University, 3 February 2005.
  • ‘Imperial marketing and entente coloniale: The making of French colonial heroes (1870-1930)’, Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies, Second annual conference, London, Institut français, 26-27 November 2004.

 

Expertise

European imperialisms in Africa; historical, political and contemporary issues relating to North and West Africa; the Middle East ,especially the Arab Spring and its consequences; crises in the Sahel region of West Africa involving the Tuareg and the Tubu populations,Northern Mali in particular; French history, politics and current affairs;  history of the British Empire since the early nineteenth century; popular imperialism in Europe, the memory of colonialism and postcolonialism.

Languages and other information

  • French
  • Spanish

Media experience

Berny has been a prominent media commentator on the Arab Spring, writing a number of articles on the poltical and social implications of the wave of revolution across North Africa and the Middle East.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office

Expertise

European imperialisms in Africa; historical, political and contemporary issues relating to North and West Africa; the Middle East, especially the Arab Spring and its consequences; crises in the Sahel region of West Africa involving the Tuareg and the Tubu populations,Northern Mali in particular; French history, politics and current affairs;  history of the British Empire since the early nineteenth century; popular imperialism in Europe, the memory of colonialism and postcolonialism.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office