Kathleen Keller


Associate Professor in History and African Studies, and Chair in History

Professor Kathleen Keller specializes in the history of connections between France and West Africa in the 20th century, especially related to colonialism. Her current research is on the life of a curious character in French history--Mamadou Kane, a Senegalese man who embarked on a variety of adventures in 20th c. France as a prince, wizard, and charlatan.

Dr. Keller's first book Colonial Suspects: Suspicion, Imperial Rule, and Colonial Society will be released this spring by University of Nebraska Press. It recounts the surveillance of "suspicious persons" by French colonial police in the interwar era. The book delves into the politics of colonial identity, the role of the "civilizing mission," and understandings of urban people and space.


Prof. Keller has published articles in the journals French Historical Studies and French Colonial History

Dr. Keller offers courses at Gustavus on culture and empire, European history, modern Africa, Vichy France, women's history, world history, and a first term seminar on surveillance. 


Ph.D. History, Rutgers University; B.A. History and French, University of Notre Dame

Areas of Expertise

colonialism, France, West Africa, and world history


cooking, travel, reading, and history

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-150Modern Africa72018/SP, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2013/FA, and 2011/FA
HIS-105World History62017/FA, 2017/SP, 2014/FA, and 2012/FA
HIS-120Europe 1648-Present52018/SP, 2015/SP, 2012/SP, and 2011/FA
HIS-251Africa since 194532016/FA, 2015/SP, and 2012/FA
HIS-344ST:Apartheid22017/FA and 2014/FA
HIS-300Research Seminar22017/FA and 2015/SP
HIS-201European Imperialism22013/FA and 2012/SP
CUR-110Historical Perspective II22013/SP
HIS-200History Seminar12018/SP
HIS-312France Under the Nazis12017/SP
HIS-226European Women12013/SP