Eric Jennings

Distinguished Professor, History of France and the Francophone World
Northrop Frye Hall, Room 310

Fields of Study


Eric Jennings is a leading authority in the fields of modern French colonial history and the study of France and the Francophonie. His many publications in Canada’s two official languages have contributed to globalizing and de-centering the history of France.  They have spanned and involved archival research on five continents.  His books include Vichy in the Tropics (Stanford UP), Curing the Colonizers (Duke UP), Imperial Heights (University of California),  Free French Africa in World War II (Cambridge UP),  and most recently Escape from Vichy: the Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean (Harvard UP).  All of the above have been translated into French and one, Imperial Heights, into Vietnamese.

Jennings has also penned roughly fifty refereed chapters and articles straddling the histories of France, Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa, and the Caribbean.  These include contributions to the following edited volumes: L’Histoire mondiale de la France (Patrick Boucheron, ed.), English translation: France in the World (the Other Press); World War II in the West Indies (Karen Eccles and Debbie McCollin, eds); Africa and World War II (Judith Byfield et al., eds.); and The Routledge History of Western Empires (Robert Aldrich and Kirsten Mackenzie eds.).  He co-edited l’Empire colonial sous Vichy with Jacques Cantier (Odile Jacob).  He is currently working on a history of vanilla as a global commodity.

Jennings was awarded a Simon Guggenheim fellowship in 2014, and is thankful for ongoing support from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  He is also the winner of the Gilbert Chinard, Alf Heggoy, Prix des Ambassadeurs, Prix Fetkann, and Jean-François Coste book prizes.  He was made a chevalier in the ordre des palmes académiques in 2010 and became a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada in 2019.


PhD, University of California-Berkeley
MA, University of Toronto
BA, University of Toronto