Wilder works on the French empire, colonial states, historical anthropology, and social/political theory, with a focus on western Africa, the Antilles, and Europe. He is the author of The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism between the Two World Wars (2005), which traces empire-wide networks of science, administration, public opinion, and literature that linked colonial reformers in French West Africa to a black public sphere in Paris. His current research project, “Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, Utopia,” examines post–World War II initiatives by African and Caribbean legislators to reconstitute France as a postcolonial federal democracy.
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