The politics of colonial history: Bourguiba, Senghor, and the student movements of the global 1960s

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


While the events of France’s revolutionary moment of May 1968 have been well documented, related political activism in former colonial possessions in Africa like Tunisia and Senegal represent far less researched terrain. 1 Like France, during May 1968 campuses at the Universities of Tunis and Dakar erupted in protest-in March in Tunis and in late May in Dakar. In Tunis, students expressed solidarity with young Tunisian activists who had been incarcerated for staging a pro-Palestinian demonstration in June 1967. 2 Meanwhile, state cuts to student funding at the University of Dakar led to a campus-wide protest that, as in France, ultimately precipitated a parallel workers’ strike. This chapter explores how agents of the state and student protestors resurrected colonial history to negatively depict each other. In both cases, campuses were closed down and students sent home with varying degrees of force. And in both cases a war of words ensued between protestors and the state over the authentic meanings of revolution, neo-imperialism, and mimicry, and, more importantly, over the very events of 1968 themselves. In addition to revealing a broader moment of global protest beyond France’s borders, these cases also speak to important shared colonial histories linking them to France and to the global 1960s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Global 1960s
Subtitle of host publicationConvention, Contest and Counterculture
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351780223
ISBN (Print)9781138709416
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'The politics of colonial history: Bourguiba, Senghor, and the student movements of the global 1960s'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this