Prof Dónal Hassett


Professor of History


Dónal Hassett is a colonial historian. His research focuses on two key interrelated fields of study: the history of the French Empire, in particular North Africa, and the legacies of conflict, especially veteran studies. He has published widely on these topics and his first monograph, Mobilizing Memory: The Great War and the Language of Politics in Colonial Algeria, 1918-1939, appeared in August 2019 with Oxford University Press.

He is the Principal Investigator on the ERC Starting Grant Project COLVET- Ex-Soldiers of Empire: Colonial Veterancy in the Interwar World (2024-2028). This trans-imperial project compares the definition of veterancy, the treatment of veterans, and their political activism across the French, British, Italian and American colonial empires in the interwar period. 

He is also interested in analysing Ireland's place in colonial history and thinking comparatively across colonial contexts.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused in the areas of French Colonial History and Veteran Studies.
I am primarily interested in how those who participated in military conflicts in the colonial world grappled with the legacies of war in peacetime. My work seeks to bring together the approaches used by historians of the colonial word with the analyses of those who study veterancy to lay the foundations for a global history of the war veteran.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
ERC Starting Grant, COLVET- Ex-Soldiers of Empire: Colonial Veterancy in the Interwar World Principal Investigator COLVET will develop the first comprehensive and comparative account of colonial veterancy in what was the foundational era for modern conceptions of the veteran, the interwar period.


Year Publication
2019 Hassett, Dónal (2019) Mobilizing Memory: The Great War and the Language of Politics in Colonial Algeria, 1918-1939. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2023 Hassett, Dónal (2023) 'Rupture and reconciliation: the neoliberal logics of Emmanuel Macron’s colonial memory policies'. Modern and Contemporary France, 32 (1):31-53.
2022 Hassett, Dónal; Akhtar, Shahmima; Nic Dháibhéid, Caoimhe; McBride, Ian; McMahon, Timothy G.; Ohlmeyer, Jane; McAtackney, Laura; Kenny, Kevin (2022) 'Round table: Decolonising Irish history? Possibilities, challenges, practices'. Irish Historical Studies, 45 (168):303-332.
2019 Hassett, Dónal (2019) 'Acknowledging or Occluding “The System of Violence”?: The Representation of Colonial Pasts and Presents in Belgium’s AfricaMuseum'. Journal of Genocide Research, 22 (1):26-45. [DOI]
2019 Hassett, Dónal; Moyd, Michelle (2019) 'Introduction: writing the history of colonial veterans of the Great War'. First World War Studies, 10 (1).
2019 Hassett, Dónal (2019) 'Catering for and controlling subject veterans: the Comité des Amitiés Africaines and North African ex-servicemen in the interwar period'. First World War Studies, 10 (1).
2019 Hassett. Dónal (2019) 'Colonialism and Contested Cultures of Victory in the French Empire of the 1920s'. Journal of Contemporary History, 54 (4). [DOI]
2018 Hassett, Dónal (2018) 'Contested commemoration: The Great War, memory and politics in contemporary Algeria'. International Journal of Francophone Studies, 21 (3-4).
2016 Hassett, Dónal (2016) 'Pupilles de L'empire: Debating the Provision for Child Victims of the Great War in the French Empire'. French Historical Studies, 39 (2).

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2022 Hassett, Dónal (2022) '“The Example of Valiant Little Ireland” The Irish Revolution in Algerian Nationalist Thought' In: The Irish Revolution: A Global History. New York : New York University Press.
2022 Hassett, Dónal (2022) 'Must Leopold Fall?: The Renovation of the AfricaMuseum and Belgium’s Place in International Debates on the Decolonisation of Public Heritage' In: Unfinished Histories: Empire and Postcolonial Resonance in Central Africa and Belgium. Leuven : Leuven University Press.
2020 Hassett, Dónal (2020) 'An Independent Path: Algerian Nationalists and the League Against Imperialism' In: The League Against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives. Leiden : Leiden University Press.
2018 Hassett, Dónal (2018) 'Reinventare l’impero all’ombra della Grande Guerra. Cittadinanza imperiale e “momento wilsoniano” nell’Algeria coloniale' In: Sudditi o cittadini? L’evoluzione delle appartenenze imperiali nella Prima guerra mondiale. Rome : Viella.
2018 Hassett, Dónal (2018) 'A Tale of Two Monuments The War Memorials of Oran and Algiers and Commemorative Culture in Colonial and Post-Colonial Algeria' In: COMMEMORATING RACE AND EMPIRE IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY. Liverpool : Liverpool University Press. [DOI]
2016 Hassett, Dónal (2016) 'Defining Imperial Citizenship in the Shadow of World War I: Equality and Difference in the Debates around Post-War Colonial Reform in Algeria' In: Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I. Leiden : Brill.
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