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Françoise Vergès

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Françoise Vergès
Françoise Vergès in 2016.
Born (1952-01-23) 23 January 1952 (age 72)
EducationUniversity of California, San Diego
University of California, Berkeley
Occupation(s)Political scientist
ParentPaul Vergès

Françoise Vergès (born 23 January 1952) is a French political scientist, historian, film producer, independent curator, activist and public educator. Her work focuses on postcolonial studies and decolonial feminism.

Vergès was born in Paris, grew up in Réunion and Algeria before returning to Paris to study and become a journalist.[1][2]

Vergès is the second daughter of Laurence Deroin and of the politician Paul Vergès. She is also the niece of Jacques Vergès.

Her father, the son of a doctor and consul during the colonial era,[3] has been a French deputy, member of the European Parliament, senator, president of the Regional Council of Réunion and mayor of Le Port.

Her great-great-grandmother, Marie Hermelinde Million des Marquets is from a slave-owning family in La Réunion. They owned a 49 acres plantation and, according to the 1848 act, "121 slaves, from which 66 were Creoles, 12 Malagasies, 39 Mozambicans and 4 Indians or Malays".[4]

Her mother, Laurence Deroin, was a Zoreille born on 22 September 1924 in Ivry-sur-Seine and died on 3 November 2012 at her home in La Possession. An activist and employee of the French Communist Party (PCF), she worked for the Ministry of Reconstruction and Urban Planning, which was headed by Raymond Aubrac until the departure of the Communists from the government, and for Laurent Casanova. The Deroin-Vergès couple met in 1947 at the colonial section of the French Communist Party in Paris and got married in 1949. Laurence Deroin first came to Reunion Island at the age of 30 in 1954, when her father-in-law Raymond Vergès wanted her husband Paul to take over the PCF federation in Reunion. She was an activist in the Union of French Women, and was one of the founders of the Union of Women of Reunion (UFR) in 1958. After running a bookshop in Saint-Denis (La Librairie des Mascareignes) for a few years, Laurence Deroin worked for the newspaper Témoignages, where she ran a column on the status of women. She has also been a candidate in various elections for the PCR.

Françoise has an older sister who is a doctor, Claude, born on 1 August 1949, married to Dr Edmundo Lopez Caizadilla; she has lived in Panama since 1974, and has a daughter, Sandra Lopez. Françoise Vergès also has two brothers who are leading figures in the PCR: Pierre and Laurent.

She moved to the US in 1983, studying at the University of California, San Diego and Berkeley.[1]

Vergès' book A Decolonial Feminism was published in English in 2021, translated by Ashley J. Bohrer along with Vergès, with the support of an English PEN Translates award.[5]


Françoise Vergès was a journalist and editor at Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

She holds a PhD in Political Science, from the University of California, Berkeley in May 1995, a thesis published under the title Monsters and revolutionaries: Colonial family romance and grooming.[6] She took as a plot the political history of Réunion from its origins to the present day, to trace the journey of her family engaged in politics since 1930.[7]

In 1996, she taught at University of Sussex,[8] and was a member of the political science department at the Center for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. She studies the problem of colonial slavery and the phenomena of creolization using political theories using postcolonial logic.[9]

After being vice-president, Françoise Vergès became, on 13 February 2008, replacing Maryse Condé, the president of the National Committee for the memory and history of slavery. A decree of 10 May 2009 names her as Chairperson of the National Committee for the Memory and History of Slavery.[10] The possible renewal of her mandate led to controversy in 2012-2013.[11][12]

In 2009, she is an "expert", within the framework of the Overseas Estates General.[13]

She is also, for several years, the scientific director of the Réunion Cultural Center (MCUR). Her appointment, as well as the project itself, are subject to debate in Réunion society. On the 3rd, the journalist Pierrot Dupuy filed a civil suit against Paul Vergès for having appointed his daughter to the management, which would constitute, according to him, a conflict of interest. It seems that the call for candidatures to the head of the MCUR had been unsuccessful, and to date, the illegal nature of the appointment of Françoise Vergès is not proven. Regarding the scientific project of the MCUR, the Commission of public inquiry gives in its report of 19 February 2010 to the prefect Michel Lalande a favorable opinion. On the 21st, the strong opposition to the MCUR project, which was expressed at the polls, as well as the victory of the party led by Didier Robert to the Réunion Regional Council, led to the end of the MCUR project. Upon his election, in accordance with his program, Didier Robert announced the end of the MCUR project.

On 10 May 2017, Françoise Vergès was appointed to the "Mission of the memory of slavery, treaties and their abolitions" public interest group.[14]


A feminist activist, Françoise Vergès collaborated with the journal Women in Motion, a monthly and weekly, published between 1978 and 1982, and with the collection "Women in struggle of all countries", at Éditions des femmes, from 1981 to 1983. Leading her feminist and anti-racist struggles, Françoise Vergès has collaborated with the association Rualité created by the hip-hop artist Bintou Dembélé.[15]

She is a member of the MAFED (Collective of the March of Women for Dignity), a group that the political scientist Laurent de Boissieu located in the political field of racialism and defines as close to the Indigenous Party of the Republic. She is also a member of the College of Diversity at the Ministry of Culture and a founding member of the Decolonizing the Arts collective.[16]

Françoise Vergès signed the calls to the Marches for Justice and Dignity, as well as a large number of petitions defending differentialist and "decolonial" positions, including "Stop the Cyberbullying Against the Controversial Lallab Association"; "Against media lynching and slanderous anti-racists"; an intolerable persecution against the Traore family ";" We can disagree with the ideas of Houria Bouteldja, so let's debate ";" For the continuation of the Fight against Islamophobia conference", the petition of support to Sonia Nour following her statements relating a terrorist to a martyr, the petition of support to Tariq Ramadan indicted for rape, accusing the French justice of unequal treatment and / or racism, along with Houria Bouteldja, Sihame Assbague, Marwan Muhammad, Alain Gresh, Nabil Ennasri and François Burgat.


  • De l'Esclave au citoyen, avec Philippe Haudrère, Paris, Gallimard, 1998, coll. " Découvertes Gallimard Texto " (#5), (traduit en chinois simplifié, 2006)
  • Monsters and revolutionaries. Colonial family romance and "métissage", Duke University Press, 1999
  • Abolir l'esclavage. Une utopie coloniale, les ambiguïtés d'une politique humanitaire, Paris, Albin Michel, 2001
  • Racines et itinéraires de l'unité réunionnaise. La Réunion, Graphica-Région Réunion, 2003
  • Amarres. Créolisations india-océanes, avec Jean-Claude Carpanin Marimoutou, Paris, Ka, 2003; Paris, L'Harmattan, 2005
  • La Mémoire enchaînée. Questions sur l'esclavage, Paris, Albin Michel, 2006
  • La République coloniale. Essai sur une utopie, avec Pascal Blanchard et Nicolas Bancel, Paris, Hachette, 2006, coll. " Pluriel »
  • Nègre, je suis, Nègre je resterai. Entretiens avec Aimé Césaire, Paris, Albin Michel, 2007
  • La Colonisation française, avec Nicolas Bancel et Pascal Blanchard, Toulouse, Éditions Milan, coll. " Les Esentiels ", 2007
  • Nègre. Nègrier. Traite des nègres. Trois articles du Grand Dictionnaire universel de Pierre Larousse, Saint-Pourçain, Bleu autour, 2007
  • Fractures postcoloniales, avec Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard et Achille Mbembe, Paris, La Découverte, 2010
  • L'Homme prédateur, ce que nous enseigne l'esclavage sur notre temps, Paris, Albin Michel, 2011, coll. " Bibliothèque Idées »
  • Le ventre des femmes, Capitalisme, racialisation, féminisme, Paris, La fabrique éditions, 2017
  • Un féminisme décolonial, Paris, La fabrique éditions, 2019
Works in English
  • Monsters and Revolutionaries: Colonial Family Romance and Métissage, Duke University Press, 1999, ISBN 9780822322948
  • Rod Edmondm Vanessa Smith {eds} "The Island of Wandering Souls : Processes of Creolization, Politics of Emancipation and the Problematic of Absence on Reunion Island", Islands in History and Representation, Routledge, 2003. ISBN 9780415286664
  • The Wombs of Women: Race, Capital, Feminism, Duke University Press, 2020, translated and with introduction by Kaiama L. Glover, ISBN 9781478009412
  • A Decolonial Feminism, Pluto Books, 2021, translated by Ashley J. Bohrer ISBN 9780745341125


  1. ^ a b "Françoise Vergès". frenchculture.org. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Françoise Vergès". FMSH. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  3. ^ Hamilcaro, Cyrille. ""Je n'ai pas pour ambition d'être un notable … des quartiers !" dit Paul Vergès". inforeunion : Un regard Réunionnais - Ile de La Réunion - Océan Indien (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  4. ^ usbek.blogs.nouvelobs.com. "Quand les ascendants de Françoise Vergès possédaient 121 esclaves..." Zinfos 974, l'actualité de l'île de La Réunion (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Nineteen PEN Translates awards go to titles from fifteen countries and thirteen languages". English Pen. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  6. ^ Vergès, Françoise (1999). Monsters and revolutionaries: colonial family romance and métissage. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press. ISBN 0822322625.
  7. ^ "Catalogue SUDOC". sudoc.abes.fr. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Françoise Vergès | French Culture". frenchculture.org. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Welcome to PACSF". homepages.gold.ac.uk. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Françoise Vergès, présidente du CPMHE". cnmhe.fr (in French). 31 August 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  11. ^ Dupuy, Pierrot. "Françoise Vergès accusée de manigances "pour obtenir des missions gouvernementales rémunérées et des récompenses"". Zinfos 974, l'actualité de l'île de La Réunion (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  12. ^ Legros, Geoffroy Géraud (29 January 2013). "Ribbe et Dalin contre Vergès : petites ambitions et grandes haines". 7 Lames la Mer (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Françoise Vergès dans la délégation qui accompagne Nicolas Sarkozy aux Antilles". Témoignages.RE (in French). 25 June 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  14. ^ Décret du 9 mai 2017 portant nomination de personnalités qualifiées au sein du groupement d'intérêt public dénommé " Mission de la mémoire de l'esclavage, des traites et de leurs abolitions ", retrieved 11 April 2018
  15. ^ "Compagnie Rualité – Collectif12". Collectif12 (in French). Archived from the original on 19 December 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  16. ^ Marche19mars. "Le 19 mars, une Marche pour la Justice et la Dignité". Club de Mediapart (in French). Retrieved 11 April 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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