Studies of colonialism in the confederated territories of French West Africa (AOF) have offered a wide variety of interpretations of state power and colonial governance, underscoring the colonial state's oppressive and authoritative expressions of power as well as its inherent weaknesses. In her book, Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society in Interwar French West Africa, Kathleen Keller provides a novel approach to this field of study, providing a fascinating examination of power and colonial rule in AOF by exploring the murky world of “suspicious persons” during the interwar period. These suspects included foreigners, educated and elite Africans, conspicuous French nationals, and returning African soldiers from the front lines of World War I, which, she contends, constituted a new social category within the colony that did not fit neatly within the colonial state's conventional demographic categories of race, gender, and class lines.

Focusing primarily on Dakar, Keller argues...

You do not currently have access to this content.