Sandrine Sanos studied Modern History at Pembroke College, Oxford University (BA), Women’s and Gender History at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University (MA), Historical Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (auditor), and Modern European History at Rutgers University (Ph.D.). She taught History at Earlham College and has been Assistant Professor of Modern European History at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi since 2008.

Her book The Aesthetics of Hate: Far-Right Intellectuals, Antisemitism, and Gender in 1930s France is forthcoming with Stanford University Press (Fall 2012). Her research interests include intellectual and cultural history, gender and sexuality, diaspora and genocide, psychoanalysis and film theory. She is currently working on two articles: on the French artist Claude Cahun, and on memory, violence, and gender in Alain Resnais’ 1959 film, Hiroshima mon Amour.

Ambivalent Homes, Multiple Attachments:
Displacement, Citizenship, and Gender in France, 1930-1965

ICI Project 2011-12

Displacement—that is an imposed ‘homelessness’—reveals the contradictions of modern politics of citizenship, especially in twentieth-century Europe where violence, war, and genocide have framed much of the history of imperial nation-states. For those who have been displaced, belonging (in a political and cultural sense) is an ambivalent process. This project asks how those who do not ‘quite belong’ have reimagined ‘home’ as the site of multiple and often contradictory and ambivalent attachments. Focusing on two moments—the interwar years, and the years following World War Two— this project explores how a number of female writers, authors, and memoirists who directly or indirectly experienced displacement reflected upon their ambivalent position in relation to ‘home’—France.

How did they articulate in writing their location as ‘outsiders from within’, as illegitimate subjects who did not quite belong? I believe engaging ambivalence and melancholia as serious political objects allows the disruption of the illusion of singularity, stability, and linearity that inevitably infuse our imagination of citizenship and the nation as ‘home’.