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Elizabeth Tuttle

by rmb529 Aug 27, 2018
Elizabeth Tuttle

2018 Fall Center and Institute Fellow

Ph.D. Candidate, French and Francophone Studies

College of the Liberal Arts


Elizabeth Tuttle is in the sixth year of the Ph.D. program in the French and Francophone Studies Department. She is currently conducting archival research in France and writing her dissertation entitled “Activism for Others: French Feminist and Anti-Imperialist Pamphletary Culture, 1914-1939.” Her research interests include French interwar activism, political pamphlets as a form of material culture, and the intersection of first-wave French feminists and empire.

Dissertation: Activism for Others: French Feminist and Anti-Imperialist Pamphletary Culture, 1914-1939.” 

Project Description: In her dissertation, Elizabeth explores the political pamphlet’s role in interwar French activism. At the heart of the dissertation lies the political and ethical stakes surrounding what she calls “activism for others,” defined here as the practice of advocating for the civil and social rights of individuals outside of one’s own gender, race, and/or social class. Elizabeth uses archival documents to follow the physical trajectories of feminist and anti-imperialist pamphlets and tracts throughout the French empire. She also considers pamphlets as a writing practice, arguing that this particular genre, integral to the very founding of the French republic in 1789, provided a textual space within which feminist and anti-imperialists could build a case for their own and others’ citizenship. However, by circumscribing their activism within the French republican model, many pamphleteers reproduced harmful racialized and gendered language that hindered their ability to function as effective advocates for the rights of marginalized groups in the French empire. The primary goal of this dissertation is to understand problematic elements in “activism for others” so that today’s activists might better comprehend the historicity of the movements with which they engage, ultimately becoming more effective allies today and in the future.