Natalya Benkhaled-Vince

Natalya Benkhaled-Vince

Sanderson Tutorial Fellow in Modern History; Associate Professor of the History of Modern France and the Francophone World


Whilst trained as a historian, in the course of my research and teaching, I’ve been fortunate to work with artists, filmmakers, anthropologists, linguists, political scientists and sociologists. I’m really interested in how concepts and methodologies drawn from these disciplines can inform and enhance historical research, and this is one reason why I really enjoy teaching Approaches to History and Disciplines of History to our undergraduates.

I also teach undergraduate survey courses on European and World/Global History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, engaging in themes ranging across economic change, class formation, race, women’s and gender history, nationalism and internationalism, colonisation and decolonisation and politics and art. I teach on the Special Subject ‘France from the Popular Front to the Liberation, 1936-1944′. I supervise undergraduate theses and bridge essays on topics across colonial and post-colonial history, particularly in relation to the French empire and twentieth-century French and Maghribi politics, culture and society.

I teach Theory and Methods on the MSt in History and I have supervised doctoral research on the post-colonial politics of oil, trade and infrastructure, language policy, cultural production and memory. I welcome research student enquiries on topics related to colonial or post-colonial histories in the (former) French empire, including metropolitan France, as well as comparative and connected studies with other (former) empires.


I’m a historian of the French empire, decolonisation and post-colonial histories in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. I have particular interests in global histories of decolonisation, oral history, memory and women’s and gender history. One of the key themes running through my research is how ordinary people shape, as well as resist, seismic political events and social and cultural shifts. This has led me to projects on women veterans of the Algerian War of Independence, West African soldiers in the French army, wartime sexual violence in Algeria and Indonesia – and my current project, on Algerian students, state-building and social mobility during the Third Worldist era of the 1960s and 1970s.

I’m increasingly focused on creative, multidisciplinary and widely accessible approaches to producing and disseminating research. This includes leading the project ‘Generation Independence’, an online series of trilingual documentary shorts, with an accompanying series of artworks, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. I enjoy working collaboratively with colleagues across the world, and have led or been part of projects with the University of Algiers, the University of Dakar, the Institut d’histoire du temps présent (Paris) and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study.

Selected Publications


The Algerian War, The Algerian Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) See:

Our Fighting Sisters: Nation, Memory and Gender in Algeria, 1954-2012 (Manchester University Press, 2015). Winner of the Women’s History Network Book Prize. See:

Articles and chapters (selected)

‘The places, traces and politics of rape in the Indonesian and Algerian Wars’ co-authored with Stef Scagliola, Khedidja Adel and Galuh Ambar, in Thijs Brocades Zaalberg and Bart Luttikhuis (eds), Empire’s Violent End: Comparing Dutch, British and French Wars of Decolonisation, 1945-1962 (Cornell University Press, 2022) See (free e-book):

‘Women in Northern African History’, co-authored with Kmar Bendana and Fadma Aït Mous, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History (2020) See:

‘Looking for “the woman question” in Algeria and Tunisia: ideas, political languages and female actors on the eve and in the aftermath of national independence’ in Max D. Weiss & Jens Hanssen (eds.) Arabic Thought Against the Authoritarian Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2018) See:

‘Performing Algerianness: the national and transnational construction of Algeria’s “culture wars”’, co-authored with Walid Benkhaled, in Patrick Crowley (ed.) Algeria: Nation, Culture and Transnationalism, 1988-2015 (Liverpool University Press, 2017)

‘Transgressing Boundaries: gender, race, religion and “Françaises musulmanes” during the Algerian War of Independence’, French Historical Studies, 33:1 (2010). Most-read article in French Historical Studies in 2016 and 2017. See:


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