• Undergraduate

Andrew Bellisari

Faculty Member in History


Fields of Interest: 

  • Geographic Regions: France and Europe, Vietnam and Southeast Asia, North Africa and the Middle East 
  • Time Periods: nineteenth and twentieth centuries 
  • Themes and Methodologies: Colonialism/imperialism, decolonization, postcolonialism, Cold War, military history, cultural and social history, oral history, conflict resolution, Indo-Pacific policy, and international relations 

Education:  Ph.D. 2018, Harvard University, USA


Andrew Bellisari joined Fulbright University Vietnam in 2018 as a founding faculty member in history. He is a specialist of European colonization and decolonization across the Afro-Asian world and his work addresses questions related to warfare, state- and nation-building, and civil society. Andrew received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in 2018. He also holds a bachelor’s in History and French from Rutgers University and studied at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris as a Fulbright scholar. 

Andrew’s research explores the political, social, and cultural dimensions of decolonization, particularly in Algeria and Vietnam. He has published work in the Journal of Contemporary History and the Journal of North African Studies. His current book project, The Loose Ends of Empire: The Logic and Logistics of Decolonization in Algeria, analyzes the everyday logistics of decolonization to understand how wars end and transfers of power operate. Scholars and policymakers have long studied the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) for insights into insurgency and counter-insurgency. Andrew’s work moves beyond this conventional focus to investigate the surprising history of cooperation that marked decolonization in French Algeria and traces how one-time enemies negotiated everything from strategic assets, such as French military bases and financial institutions, to policy agreements over military cooperation and property rights, and even cultural patrimony. Andrew’s research provides new insight into the strategies that were necessary to end war, build peace, and ensure a transition to independence that was once unthinkable to both the French and Algerians alike.  

At Fulbright, Andrew has begun researching his next project, which explores the complex networks and personal stories of French colonial subjects from across North Africa, West Africa, and Indochina who fought in the French Far East Expeditionary Corps against the Việt Minh during the First Indochina War (1946-1954). Underscoring how both French military officials and Vietnamese Communists employed psychological warfare to either maintain or win over the loyalty of France’s non-white soldiers, this work highlights issues related to race, morale, loyalty, and propaganda that remain pertinent to our modern understanding of conflict. 

Beyond Fulbright, Andrew is a Vietnam Program Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance. He is also an inaugural member of the Sài Gòn Social Sciences Hub supported by the École Française d’Extrême-Orient in H Chí Minh City. His research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Krupp Foundation, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.  


  • Fulbright History Lab: An Introduction to Historical Methodologies  
  • Modern Southeast Asia: From Empire to Independence 
  • Modern Europe since 1789 
  • Human Rights, Law, and Society since Nuremberg 
  • Pirates, Prostitutes, and Prisoners: An Outlaw History of French Indochina 
  • Global Humanities and Social Change 
  • Introduction to Vietnamese Culture and History (2018-2019) 

Select Publications:   

  • Books, Articles, and Reviews

The Loose Ends of Empire: The Logic and Logistics of Decolonization in Algeria (in progress) 

“Making the ‘New Vietnamese’: Race, Psychological Warfare, and the Fate of France’s African Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1946-1962)” (in progress) 

Bellisari, Andrew H. “L’Échec De La Colonisation Française En Algérie.” The Journal of North African Studies 22, no. 4 (2017): 682–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2017.1340109 

Bellisari, Andrew H. “Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonisation, and the Third World Order.” The Journal of North African Studies 25, no. 1 (2018): 137–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2018.1541780 

Bellisari, Andrew. “The Art of Decolonization: The Battle for Algeria’s French Art, 1962–70.” Journal of Contemporary History 52, no. 3 (2016): 625–45. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022009416652715.  

  • Commentaries 

“Colonial Claims-Making in the South China Sea: French Imperial Antecedents and the Nine-Dash Line” (in progress) 

Interview, “How Vietnam Was Poised for the Pandemic: An Historian Working in Vietnam Reflects on the Past Events that Shaped the Country’s Response to COVID-19,” Epicenter (Harvard University), 22 June 2020. 

“The Evian Accords: An Uncertain Peace,” Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective (Ohio State University), 18 March 2017.