Assistant Professor of History

Brooke Durham is a historian of France and the French Empire. Her research approaches the end of the French Empire through local, interpersonal interactions in France and Africa after 1945. Dr. Durham examines how students, social workers, teachers, and international volunteers negotiated the politics of the Cold War, development, and decolonization.

Dr. Durham is currently engaged in two research projects. Her first book project, The Politics of Proximity: North Africans, Europeans, and the Fight for Equality in Revolutionary Algeria, traces European and Algerian efforts to work together on human development projects during the Algerian War of Independence. European and Algerian teachers, social workers, students, and international volunteers managed to find common cause in assisting the most marginalized Algerians.

Dr. Durham’s second book project, Students of Decolonization: European and African Student Exchanges at the End of Empire, also approaches the politics of decolonization through interpersonal encounters. This study adds to a growing, transnational literature on postwar youth activism, culture, and politics in Europe and Africa. This book examines how French and African high school and university students negotiated the end of empire through educational travel and short-term assignments as technical assistants abroad.

Dr. Durham teaches courses on the French Empire and Modern European history. She advises graduate students working on Modern France, Europe, and North and West African history. Prior to coming to Boston University, she taught at West Virginia University. She earned a B.A. in History and and a B.A. in International Politics from Penn State, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Stanford University.