College of the Holy Cross Scholar Wins Book Award From the World History Association

Lorelle Semley, an associate professor of history at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, will share the Bentley Book Prize presented by the World History Association. Dr. Semley is being honored for her book To Be Free and French: Citizenship in France’s Atlantic Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

The prize recognizes scholars who have made outstanding contributions to the field of world history. Dr. Semley’s book, described by a reviewer as a “staple of reading lists for years to come,” explores the meaning of citizenship for French colonial subjects of African descent.

Dr. Semley also received the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. The fellowship provides a stipend and research budget of over $100,000 for her next book project.

An earlier book authored by Dr. Semley is Mother Is Gold, Father Is Glass: Gender and Colonialism in a Yoruba Town (Indiana University Press, 2010). She joined the Holy Cross faculty in 2011 after teaching at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Dr. Semley is graduate of Georgetown University, where she majored in French. She holds a master’s degree in African studies from Yale University and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University.


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