Centre for European and International Studies Research


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Dr Natalya Vince

  • Qualifications: BA Joint Honours in French and History (First Class), Balliol College, University of Oxford, PhD in History, Queen Mary, University of London - β€œTo be a moudjahida in independent Algeria: itineraries and memories of women veterans of the Algerian War of Independence.” Supervisor: Professor Julian Jackson; Prof. Gilbert Meynier (Nancy II, France) and Dr. James McDougall (SOAS, University of London).
  • Role Title: Reader in North African and French Studies
  • Address: Park Building, King Henry 1 Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DZ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6145
  • Email: natalya.vince@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Languages and Area Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


The focus of my research is modern Algerian and French history.  I am interested in oral history, gender studies and state- and nation-building in Algeria and France, but also more broadly in Europe and Africa. I have carried out extensive field research in both Algeria and France since 2005, including interviewing Algerian women who participated in the War of Independence (1954-1962) about their experiences in post-colonial Algeria and their memories of the conflict, and carrying out a case study at a teacher training college in Algiers on the teaching of history and the transmission of memory. My monograph Our fighting sisters: nation, memory and gender in Algeria, 1954-2012 was published by Manchester University Press in May 2015. I am currently working on a concise account of the Algerian War and its historiographical debates and political controversies for the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in European History series.

I lead on the African Studies strands of the MRes Humanities and Social Sciences and I coordinate and teach on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate units covering European and African history, politics, culture and society. Within the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), I am the leader of the Francophone Africa cluster. You can read more about our activities on our blog, http://francophone.port.ac.uk. I am also on the editorial board of Modern and Contemporary France.


Research Clusters

  • Francophone Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies

Current Research Projects

I am currently working on three interlinked research projects. Firstly, I am working on developing a new research project with colleagues in France and Algeria about 1960s Algeria, thinking about questions relating to state- and nation- building through the study of the development of infrastructure in the post-independence period, including the education system. Secondly, working in collaboration with my colleague Mark Wyatt hyperlink] and the British Council in Algiers, I have been awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for a Collaborative Doctoral Award, enabling us to recruit a PhD student to work on the place of English within the contemporary Algerian linguistic and cultural landscape. The project explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts which shape learners’ motivation to study English, identifying new directions in research into shifts in global connections and perceptions of what has traditionally been termed 'Francophone Africa'. Thirdly, I have just come to the end of a project funded by the British Academy, as part of their UK-Africa Academic Partnership scheme, which sought to build links between and share knowledge and skills across the Universities of Portsmouth, Algiers and Dakar, as well as the Ecole normale supérieure in Bouzaréah in Algiers, through a shared project which investigated the participation of Senegalese soldiers in the French army during the Algerian War of Independence. The project involved training postgraduate students and young scholars in Algeria and Senegal to carry out an oral history project amongst older generations who participated in both sides of the conflict. Postgraduates from the University of Portsmouth also participated in this training. For more information on the project see: www.africanoralhistory.port.ac.uk


Research profile

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