As an assistant professor of Modern African history at Baylor University, Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué teaches Modern African History, Women and Gender in Modern Africa and World History Since 1500. Mougoué is Co-Convenor, with Josephine Dawuni, of African Studies Association (ASA) Women’s Caucus.
An interdisciplinary feminist scholar, Mougoué is particularly interested in the gendering of identities in modern Africa. Her research interests focus on the gendering of identities in state politics, body politics, and religious politics in Cameroon. Her first book, Gender, Separatist Politics and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon is forthcoming with University of Michigan Press in 2019. Using oral interviews and archival records, such as women’s advice columns, Cameroon’s first cooking book, and the first novel published by an Anglophone Cameroonian woman under a pen name, the book examines issues related to cookery, gossiping, “sluggish” women who fail to attend the meetings of women’s organizations, slacks-wearing women, and unruly housewives known as “women extremists,” to illuminate how issues of ideal womanhood shaped the Anglophone Cameroonian nationalist movement in the first decade of independence. The book uses the concept of embodied nationalism to illustrate how political elites and formally educated urbanites implied that women’s everyday patterns of behavior and comportment—the clothes that women wore, the foods they cooked, their abstention from gossip, and their adherence to appropriate marital behavior in public spaces—might make a suitable Anglophone Cameroonian persona physically conspicuous on the local, national, and international stage. By drawing upon history, political science, gender studies, and feminist epistemologies, Mougoué demonstrates how preserving conservative ideal Anglophone womanhood, gender norms, morality, cultural values, and political identity came to be seen as the lynchpin of Anglophone unity in English-speaking towns in Cameroon.
Mougoué’s second book project, like the first book, highlights gender history. Religious Masculinities, Social Calamities, and the Baha’i Faith Movement in Cameroon, traces the history of the Bahá’í Faith in English-Speaking Cameroon and focuses on masculine identities and religion between 1957 and 1985.
Most recently, Mougoué has an article in Gender & History (2017) that underlines Anglophone Cameroonian housewives and recalcitrant behavior and an article in the Journal of West African History (2017) that examines the political activities of Anglophone Cameroonian female journalists who penned women’s advice columns under pseudonyms during the 1960s. In addition, she has an article in Feminist Africa (2016) that focuses on beauty rituals and cultural identity in post-independent Anglophone Cameroon. Mougoué has a forthcoming article in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism (Fall 2018) titled “Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist’s Reflections”. The article uses case studies from Anglophone Cameroon, Western Sahara, Cabinda Province (Angola), and Biafra (Nigeria), to historicize and outline a new analytical framework that explores women’s multifaceted participation in secessionist movements in modern-day Africa. She currently has other articles under review, one being on the lexicon of self-esteem and “natural” beauty in 1960s metropolitan Cameroon.
Mougoué has been invited to share her research at various academic institutions including Yale University (United States), University of Notre Dame (United States), Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Fez, Morocco), University of Leuven (Belgium), McMaster University (Canada), and Paris Diderot University (France). See the abbreviated curriculum vitae for a more complete list of talks.
Mougoué’s hobbies include long-distance running, photography, painting, and writing poetry and short stories.
Please email for a list of complete upcoming talks in Spring and Summer 2018.
Upcoming plenary/keynote talk: Wednesday, June 20, 2018: “Writing from the Margins: Political Masculinities and Separatist (Auto) biographies in Cameroon.” (“Ecrire des Marges: les Masculinités Politiques et les (Auto) biographies Séparatistes au Cameroun”). Paris Diderot University, Paris, France.
Most recent presentation: “Cameroon’s Catholic Women’s Association: Gender, Political Power, and Transnational Feminism in 20thCentury West Africa.” Workshop on Transnational Feminism, L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, May 11, 2018.