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Colonial humanism in the 1930s: The case of Andrée Viollis

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Although a committed critic of colonial abuses and mismanagement, Andrée Viollis should not be viewed as an anticolonialist. The indigenous discontent she witnesses in India, Indochina and Tunisia does not impel her to denounce colonialism itself, but rather convinces her of the possibility of a reformed and humanitarian colonialism. This article studies Viollis's accounts of uprising in British India, the aftermath of revolt and repression in Indochina, and the emergence of Néo-destour in Tunisia. It examines comparisons she made between British and French colonial systems and colonial management, and investigates how the accession of the reformist Popular Front to government altered her perception of the value of French colonial rule. It traces the trajectory of the type of liberal, humanist colonial thought, prevalent in France before the Second World War, which Andrée Viollis embodied. Copyright © SAGE Publications.




Cooper, N. (2006). Colonial humanism in the 1930s: The case of Andrée Viollis. French Cultural Studies, 17(2), 189–205.

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