Associate Professor Saliha Belmessous
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Saliha Belmessous

Licence, Université Lyon III-Jean Moulin; MA Université Lyon III and Université de Montréal; Ph.D. Histoire et Civilisations, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

I research and teach the global history of empires. I am interested in the political and legal history of colonisation; the imperial experiences of colonised peoples; and the dynamics of cross-cultural encounters -- these are all issues that have an impact upon contemporary problems. My current research reassesses the legal and political worlds in which European and non-European societies interacted and challenges recent evaluations of the history of international law. I am examining, more particularly, the ways in which diplomatic negotiations between European and non-European polities were a matrix for a hybrid law of nations.

I will be Visiting Professor at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge in Lent 2023.

9385 2362
333 Morven Brown

Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 2015-2022. Topic: The engagement of colonised peoples with empire (Algeria, 1830-1962)
Future Fellowship, Australian Research Council, 2011-2015. Topic: Indigenous land claims in historical context
Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008. Topic: Assimilation and Empire

  • British Academy Global Professorship, University of Oxford, 2023-2027
  • Visiting Professorship, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, Lent 2023
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 2015-2019
  • 2014 UNSW Dean's Award for Best Monograph for Assimilation and Empire: Uniformity in French and British Colonies, 1541-1954 (Oxford University Press)
  • Visiting Professorship, Université Paris 8, April 2014
  • 2013 New South Wales Premier's General History Prize for Assimilation and Empire: Uniformity in French and British Colonies, 1541-1954 (Oxford University Press)
  • Future Fellowship, Australian Research Council, 2011-2015
  • National and State Libraries Australasian Honorary Fellowship, 2011
  • US Studies Centre Research Grant, 2010
  • University of Sydney Bridging Fellowship, 2009
  • Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008
  • Georges Lurcy Fellowship, 1995
  • Lavoisier Program of Excellence Fellowship, 1994
  • Fulbright Fellowship, 1994

Open access publications

'What is a colonial treaty? Questioning the visible and the invisible in European and non-European legal negotiations', Comparative Legal History, 2022,

‘Politics and Gender Bias in the Production of Historical Knowledge: Reassessing Muslim Loyalism during the Algerian War of Independence’, Hespéris-Tamuda, 2021.

‘Commemorating French Colonialism in Australia: On the Lapérouse Monument in Sydney’, History Australia, 2020.

'Emancipation within Empire: An Algerian Alternative during the Decolonisation Era’, History Workshop Journal,  2019.

'Greatness and Decadence in French America', Renaissance Studies, 2012.

‘Assimilation and Racialism in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Colonial Policy’, The American Historical Review, 2005.

‘Être français en Nouvelle-France: Identité française et identité coloniale aux dix- septième et dix-huitième siècles’ (trans. Being French in New France: French Identity and Colonial Identity in the 17th and 18th century), French Historical Studies, 2004.




Member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts (2019-2021)

Member of the European Science Foundation (ESF) College of Expert Reviewers (2019-2021)

External Reviewer for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Assessor for the European Research Council

My Teaching


  • ARTS 1270 Global History
  • ARTS 2272 The European World, 1500-1800
  • ARTS 3270 Reflecting on Histories and Historians: Capstone
  • ARTS 3290 Visions and Voices of Empire

Areas of HDR supervision:

  • colonial history
  • comparative history of European empires
  • comparative indigenous histories
  • history of ideas and history of political thought
  • Native American history
  • European history
  • American history
  • global history