School of Humanities and Social Science
HISTORY SEMINAR SERIES – 2008
‘The French Justifications for Native Dispossession in North America’
Dr Saliha Belmessous, University of Sydney
10am to 11am
(with morning tea/coffee afterwards)
Cultural Collections Reading Room (near the Information
Common), Level 2, Auchmuty Library, Callaghan Campus
This paper seeks to explore French claims to North American lands and compare them to those of the Spanish and the English. Historians have often commented upon the good relations French colonisers held with native peoples. They have also emphasised the absence of conflict concerning the issue of land. Such accounts look at French confiscation of native title on the international scene as almost irrelevant. Yet, much remains to be said about the ideological roots of French colonisation. If particular political and material conditions allowed the French to settle generally without violence, French understandings of sovereignty and property had much in common with colonial rivals and account for a more brutal colonial expansion in the following centuries.
Saliha Belmessous is an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. She is one of the few academics in Australia to have published in the American Historical Review. She specialises in early-modern colonial history and European-Indigenous relations. She is currently working on a book on Assimilation and Empire in the early modern period.
Staff, students and members of the public are welcome