Skip to main content

Meghan O’Donoghue recently received a Fulbright Open-Research Award to conduct archival research in Aix-en-Provence, France, for six months in Fall 2022. While based in Aix-en-Provence, she will also be affiliated with the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and the Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhône-Alpes.

Her Fulbright research focuses on the prophetic visions and influence of a young woman named Alinesitoué Diatta in Senegal during the Second World War. Alinesitoué’s teachings, which centered on a return to traditional Jola agricultural and religious practices in the midst of colonial imposition, coincided with a series of rebellions in the Casamance region of Senegal. In response to the perceived threat of such rebellious sentiment, the French authorities exiled Alinesitoué and violently suppressed rebelling communities. This project will examine the role of agriculture in Alinesitoué’s teachings, the Casamance rebellions of 1942-43, and the brutal French response to both. 

This research will be a part of Meghan O’Donoghue’s overall dissertation project on French and African environmental knowledge in colonial-era French West Africa. While in France, she will conduct further archival research in Dakar, Senegal, thanks to funding from UVA’s AHSS Summer Research Grant.