Etienne Smith earned his Ph.D in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris in July 2010. His research focused on the joking interstices of ethnicities in the longue durée of West Africa (Senegal) and the politics of neo-traditionalism at the intersection of global culturalism and local patriotisms, questionning theories of nationalism, multiculturalism and language policies. His current research interests include intellectual history in francophone West Africa, African politics (Senegal, Mali, Rwanda), and a comparison of controversies on “race”, multiculturalism and postcolonialism in Senegal, France and the United States. Recent publications include L’Afrique: histoire et défis (Ellipses, 2009); “La nationalisation par le bas : la wolofisation au Sénégal” in Raisons Politiques (37, 2010 : 65-77) ; “Merging ethnic histories in Senegal: whose moral community?” in Derek Peterson & Giacomo Macola (eds.), Recasting the Past: History Writing and Political Work in Modern Africa (Ohio University Press, 2009: 213-232), and “Congo’s Agonies”, New Left Review (67, 2011: 145-154).
In 2001-2011 he taught a course on “The politics of identity in Africa”.