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Rachel Gillett

Visiting Scholar 2022-2023

Residency Dates: Spring 2023 | January 15, 2023 - May 12, 2023


Rachel Gillett

Rachel Anne Gillett is assistant professor of cultural history at Utrecht University where she teaches modern Europe and empire. Her research focuses on race in France, on popular culture, and on the black Atlantic from a French perspective. Prior to joining the faculty at Utrecht, Gillett graduated from Northeastern University with a Ph.D. in world history and taught and served as the assistant director for undergraduate studies in the history and literature concentration at Harvard University.

At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), Gillett will produce the foundation of a new project investigating how members and groups in the global, Francophone, African diaspora shaped the concept and practice of liberty and freedom. She will analyze the growing volume of work on Black radical and international networks, as well as how creators use music, art, and grassroots narratives to make intellectual and political anti-colonial and emancipatory claims.

This information is accurate for the time period that the visiting scholar is affiliated with CES.


  • Assistant Professor of Cultural History, Utrecht University
  • Visiting Scholar 2022-2023, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

Research Project

Unleashing liberty: Black French freedom work, 1750-2020



Areas of Expertise

France and the Francophone World
French Colonial History
Popular Culture
Black Atlantic
World War One
Black Music and Emancipatory Movements
Cultural Politics

Areas of Expertise

Gillett, Rachel Anne. “Glocal Invasions: Appropriating Music from Abroad.” Musicking in Twentieth-Century Europe, 2020, 371–92.

Gillett, Rachel Anne. At Home in Our Sounds: Music, Race, and Cultural Politics in Interwar Paris. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021, 2021.

Gillett, Rachel. “Songs of War and Dissent: Maori Anti-War Activism and Its Cultural Legacy.” In Colonial Encounters in a Time of Global Conflict, 1914-1918, edited by Das, Santanu, Anna Maguire, and Daniel Steinbach. London, UK: Routledge, 2021.