Emma Kuby

Current Research

I am an intellectual, political and cultural historian of modern Europe who specializes in modern France and its empire. To date, my research has focused on the legacies of World War II’s violence during the era of decolonization. My first book, Political Survivors: The Resistance, the Cold War, and the Fight against Concentration Camps after 1945 deals with Nazi camp survivors as transnational activists in the immediate postwar decades. By telling the story of survivors' crusade to expose crimes against humanity in Franco's Spain, Maoist China, French Algeria, and beyond, it offers a new narrative about how memory of Hitler's atrocities reshaped postwar European intellectual life and ideological struggle. My current book-length project, tentatively titled "The Outsider Turned Ambassador: Jewish American Journeys in Postwar France," explores how France, as headquarters for American diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to reconstruct a ravaged Europe after 1945, unexpectedly became the key space in which first and second-generation American Jews reengaged with the continent. I seek to explain why hundreds of American Jews converged on postwar France—primarily its capital, but also its provinces and colonies—and to demonstrate that these diverse men and women used the country as the locus for forging a new, post-Holocaust connection back to Europe as a whole—and a new, Cold War-inflected understanding of themselves as consummate transatlantic mediators of Western values. In addition to the scholarly venues listed below, I have also published in Dissent and History Today.

Major Publications


Political Survivors: The Resistance, the Cold War, and the Fight against Concentration Camps after 1945. Cornell University Press, 2019.

Articles/Book Chapters

  • “Madame Right for Monsieur Wrong: Prisoner Marriage Petitions and State Surveillance of Women in Postwar France, 1946-1959.” Gender & History 34, no. 2 (July 2022): 476-494.
  • "From Auschwitz to Algeria: The Mediterranean Limits of the French Anti-Concentration Camp Movement, 1952-1959." In French Mediterraneans:Transnational and Imperial Histories, edited by Patricia Lorcin and Todd Shepard. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.
  • "‘Our Actions Never Cease to Haunt Us’: Frantz Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the Violence of the Algerian War." Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques, Winter 2015 (41: 3), 59-78.
  • "In the Shadow of the Concentration Camp: David Rousset and the Limits of Apoliticism in Postwar French Thought." Modern Intellectual History, April 2014 (11:1), 147-173.
  • "From the Torture Chamber to the Bedchamber: French Soldiers, Anti-War Activists, and the Discourse of Sexual Deviancy in the Algerian War (1954-1962)." Contemporary French Civilization, Summer 2013 (38: 2), 131-153. Recipient of the Lawrence R. Schehr Memorial Award.
  • "A War of Words over an Image of War: The Fox Movietone Scandal and the Portrayal of French Violence in Algeria, 1955-56." French Politics, Culture & Society, Spring 2012 (30: 1), 46-67.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include courses on modern European and French history, intellectual history, and the history of French overseas empire, as well as thematic classes related to violence, justice, memory, and religious minorities in modern Europe.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 112 - History of the Western World II
  • HIST 312 - France Since 1815
  • HIST 322 - Women in Modern Europe
  • HIST 328 - Europe Since 1945
  • HIST 339 - French Overseas Empire
  • HIST 395 - Historical Methods
  • HIST 423/523 - French Revolution and Napoleon
  • HIST 495 - Senior Thesis
  • HIST 640 - Aftermath of Conflict
  • HIST 740 - Violence and Empire, Freedom and Unfreedom


Emma Kuby

Emma Kuby
Associate Professor and Assistant Department Chair
Zulauf 710

Modern France

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2011

Office Hours

Tuesday, Thursday 
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (online)
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. (in person), and by appointment.