While in Oxford, I am working on a book manuscript that focuses on the place of primates in modern science in the context of the Pasteur Institutes in Paris and in Kindia (Guinea) in the twentieth century. The project chiefly explores the interactions between theories and practices of biomedical and psychological experiments on chimpanzees; the socio-political and ideological conditions during the French colonial era and the development of bacteriology and primatology. This research is therefore situated at the crossroads of the history of primatology and the history of colonial medicine, while it argues for a more animal-centred history and aims at reconstructing the histories of chimpanzees by using the traces they left in historical records.
Could you please tell us a bit more about your scholarship/exchange programme?
A lecturer in the history of science at the University of Strasbourg, I am invited as a research fellow in the history of science at the Maison française d’Oxford. I am in residence from early May until late July 2021.
First impressions of Oxford/the University?
My memory of Oxford dates back to English courses which I took when in high school. Already then, I was struck by a splendid nature combined to a stunning architecture. As I recently went for a stroll along Christ Church Meadow, I experienced this charm again. Next to the beauty and peacefulness of the city, I enjoy the vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the academic life, and find both the University and the Maison française very stimulating places to carry out research.