OIEAHC Postdoctoral Fellow — Alexandre Dubé
Alexandre Dubé, the 2011–2012 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research fellow, is currently a professor of history at Washington University University in St. Louis. Since receiving his Ph.D. in history from McGill University in 2010, Mr. Dubé has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre d’études nord-américaines, part of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His book manuscript is entitled “Les biens publics: Culture politique de la Louisiane Française, 1730–1770”—”The Common Goods: Political Culture in French Louisiana, 1730–1770.” During his fellowship year, he plans to complete additional research in the New Orleans archives and to extend his study back in time to the 1720s, when the French established that city and took control of lower Louisiana. His principal objective, however, is to revise his dissertation into an English-language book that will speak to North American scholars of New France and of the British colonies, as well as to scholars of ancien regime France. Currently, histories of the north American French colonies and of the metropolitan political culture run on parallel tracks, occasionally referring to each other but rarely intersecting in substantive considerations of the two together. Mr. Dubé uses the Louisiana Affair of 1759, a political and economic scandal in New Orleans that reverberated in the administrative halls of Versailles for the next decade, as an entrée to analyze the material ties that connected colony and metropole within a French Atlantic state. He places “objects,” both goods and documents, at the center of his study. By tracking transatlantic networks of commodities and people and establishing experiences, expectations, and exigencies on the ground, “The Common Goods” reveals the concrete functioning of the state in colonial circumstances and the shaping of political culture shared in by rulers and ruled in metropole and colony.