Emile was educated at Cambridge, Rice University, Harvard University and the École Normale Supérieure, Paris. He completed his PhD at Cambridge and his thesis was subsequently awarded the History Faculty's Prince Consort and Thirlwall Prize, and Seeley Medal for the best dissertation across all periods.
Immediately after completing his doctorate, Emile took up a position as Departmental Lecturer in Modern European History in the Faculty of History and Balliol College, Oxford. He returned to Cambridge in 2012 as a Research Fellow in French Political History at St John's College. In 2013, he moved to the University of Edinburgh as a Chancellor's Fellow in History.
Emile's research has, for the most part, touched on three main areas: the transformation of French politics since the 1970s, Franco-British relations in the 20th century and the legacy of postcolonialism in France. This has resulted in a number of publications on subjects ranging from the 'Anglo-Saxon' in modern French thought to contemporary French conceptions of the nation, the citizen and the secular. Emile has also worked on political counter-narratives in France, including liberal reinterpretations of modern French history, theories of multiculturalism and the politics of postcolonialism. More recently, he has turned his attention to identity politics, clientelism and the history of inter-community relations in Montpellier since the end of the Algerian War. All of this research has sought to elaborate imaginative new frameworks for understanding contemporary political culture in France (and beyond).
Emile's next major project is an intellectual biography of the historian Eric Hobsbawm, to be published by Harvard University Press. The aim will be to situate Hobsbawm's life and work within twentieth-century European and global history, as well as explore his political and historical ideas. Alongside this new project, Emile will continue to work on different aspects of contemporary French politics that relate to his earlier research, especially French anti-capitalist thought and the integration of postcolonial minorities in southern France.