“The Spectacle of the Woman Resistor: Female Dress and Gender Transformation” With Mary Louise Roberts

My specialization is Women and Gender; France; the Second World War. My most recent book concerns the politics of sex during the American presence in France during the Second World War. As the GIs conquered Normandy in the summer of 1944, they pursued their fantasies of having sex with French women. Such erotic contacts—including heterosexual sex, prostitution, and rape—became the focus of conflict and debate between the US military and French officials. As these debates occurred in newspapers and official correspondence, they anchored larger struggles for authority, including the breadth of American political power in Europe, and the moral role of the United States as a new global leader.