Rachel Jean Baptiste


Position Title
Associate Professor Department of History

3206 Social Sciences & Humanities


Rachel Jean Baptiste


  • Ph.D., Stanford University
  • M.A., Stanford University
  • A.B., History and French, Bryn Mawr College


Rachel Jean-Baptiste is an historian of colonial and post-colonial French-speaking Central and West Africa.  Her research interests include the history of sexuality and gender and women's history, marriage and family law, urban history, race, and citizenship. Her current book project analyzes changes in racial thought, belonging, and citizenship in colonial Senegal, Gabon and Congo (Brazzaville).

Research Focus

Cross-Cultural Women's & gender History; Empires; Ethnicity, Race, Nationalism; Law, Culture and Society; Africa, Asia, & the Middle East

Selected Publications

  • Multi-Racial Identities in Colonial Francophone Africa: Race, Childhood, Citizenship (under contract, Cambridge University Press, African Identities: Past and Present Series)
  • “‘To Save Eurafrican Children’: Métis Children, African Mothers, and the Reluctant French Colonial Welfare State in post-World War II Senegal.” In Enjeux postcoloniaux de l'enfance et de la jeunesse. Espace francophone 1945-1980, edited by Yves Dencher, PIE Peter Lang Press, Outre-Mer Series, 2019
  • “Love, Marriage, and Families in Africa,” co-authored with Emily S. Burrill. In Holding the World Together: African Women in Changing Perspective, edited by Nwando Achebe and Claire Robertson, University of Wisconsin Press, 2019.
  • “‘The Ancient and The Modern’: Customary and Civil Marriage and Family Law and Gender Equity in Post-Colonial Gabon” in Marriage, Law and Modernity: Global Histories, edited by Julia Moses, Bloomsbury Press, 2017.
  • Jean-Baptiste, R. (2014) Conjugal Rights: Marriage, Sexuality, and Urban Life in Colonial Libreville, Gabon. (New African History Series: Ohio University Press)    http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/Conjugal+Rights
  • Jean-Baptiste, R. (2011) “Miss Eurafrica: Men, Women’s Sexuality, and Métis Identity in Late Colonial French Africa, 1945-1960.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Volume 20, Number 3, pp. 568-593
  • Jean-Baptiste, R. (2010) “A Black Girl Should Not Be With A White Man: Sex, Race, and African Women's Social and Legal Status in Colonial Gabon, c. 1900–1946.” Journal of Women's History, Volume 22, Number 2, pp. 56-82 http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/journal_of_womens_history/v022/22.2.jean-baptiste.pdf
  • Jean-Baptiste, R. (2008) “These Laws Should Be Made By Us: Customary Marriage Law, Codification And Political Authority in Twentieth-Century Colonial Gabon.” The Journal of African History, Volume 49, Issue 02, pp. 217-240http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2300300&fileId=S0021853708003617
  • Jean-Baptiste, R. (2007) “The Option of the Judicial Path: Disputes over Marriage, Divorce, and Extra-Marital Sex in Colonial Courts in Libreville, Gabon (1939-1959).” Cahiers d'études africaines, Volume 187-188, pp. 643-670 http://etudesafricaines.revues.org/8592


Intro to African History; History of West Africa; Slavery, African and the Atlantic World; Post-Colonial African History