During her doctoral research (2014-2018) at the University of Antwerp, Karen Lauwers was a member of “Power in History: Centre for Political History." In February 2019, she defended her PhD-thesis, titled “Negotiating the Republic. Direct interactions between unorganized citizens and MPs in France, c.1900-1930s.” Moving her focus from Belgium to France, and from discourse in parliament to the perspectives on representation and citizenship held by people outside of political institutions, she studied letters written by “ordinary” French citizens to four specific députés (MPs).

Throughout 2019, Karen Lauwers remained a voluntary visiting member of "Power in History." In September of the same year, she started as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki's Department of Cultures, where she is working on the French-Algerian axis of the CALLIOPE-project: “Vocal Articulations of Parliamentary Identity and Empire,” funded by Josephine Hoegaerts’ ERC starting grant. For this project, she is redirecting her focus on political identities of the colonial subaltern, and more specifically on French-Algerian Arab bureaus’ expectations of and experiences with Algerian forms of leadership and political identity, Algerian modes of public speech, political knowledge, and news circulation among the Muslim population (1846-1871).

Research interests: history of democratization, citizenship, nationality and poltitical identities, political culture and parliamentary history, gender and women's history, French political and cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, French colonial Algeria, history of the senses, political knowledge, practices and experience, and history of rumors.


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