Past event

"Hostages of Empire: Colonial Prisoners of War and Vichy France" ISWS Seminar Series via MS Teams

Hostages of Empire, Colonial Prisoners of War in Vichy France, won the 2022 Alf Andrew Heggoy Prize awarded by the French Colonial History Society in recognition of the best book published in the preceding year dealing with the French colonial experience from 1815 to the present. It was also shortlisted for the Gladstone Prize, and received a Coups de Coeur from the American Library in Paris Book Award. Based on archival research in 17 archives across 5 countries, Hostages of Empire examines the experiences of the 85,000 soldiers from across the French Empire who were captured by the German army in 1940. These colonial prisoners of war were subsequently interned across Occupied France, while white POWs were taken to Germany. As a social and military history, my book goes beyond the previous stories of war captivity, offering an in-depth analysis of daily lives of men from across the French African, Asian and Caribbean empire. It then uses their experiences and histories to shed new light on the importance of empire and race in shaping the policies of Vichy France during the Second World War (and beyond).

After spending three years living in Guinea and Senegal, Sarah began postgraduate studies at Trinity College, Dublin where I completed an M.Phil in Modern Irish History and a PhD in Modern European History funded by the Irish Research Council. After my PhD, I spent three years at the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State in South Africa. From South Africa I moved to Scotland for three wonderful years as an associate lecturer at the University of St. Andrews. I moved to Sheffield to join the Department of History in 2021.