JACQUELINE-BETHEL MOUGOUÉ is an interdisciplinary feminist scholar of Africa who is particularly interested in how constructions of gender inform the comportment and performances of the body, religious beliefs, and political ideologies in Cameroon. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of History at Baylor University.
Mougoué’s first book, Gender, Separatist Politics and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon is forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in 2019. This work illuminates how issues of ideal womanhood shaped the Anglophone Cameroonian nationalist movement in the first decade of independence. The book defines and uses the concept of embodied nationalism to illustrate the importance of women’s everyday behavior—the clothes they wore, the foods they cooked, whether they gossiped, and their deference to their husbands—in the project of demonstrating that West Cameroon, which comprised of English-Speaking regions, was a modern nation and the consequences for the Anglophone Cameroonian nationalist movement as Francophone Cameroon prepared to dismantle the federal republic and the West Cameroon State’s autonomy. Drawing upon history, political science, gender studies, and feminist epistemologies, this text complicates traditional Africanist scholarship by underlining the gendered legacies of European rule in the early independence era, 1961 to 1972. Its sources include oral interviews and archival sources such as women’s newspaper advice columns, Cameroon’s first cooking book, and the first novel published by an Anglophone Cameroonian woman. Mougoué is currently finalizing research on her second book, Manhood, Religion and Transcontinental Networks in Africa. The book will examine the history of the Bahá’í Faith and masculine identities in English-Speaking Cameroon from the 1950s to the 1980s. Click here for more detailed descriptions of the first book and second book project.
Mougoué’s scholarly articles have appeared in Gender & History, Journal of West African History, Feminist Africa, and Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. She has a forthcoming article in African Studies Review. In addition, one chapter she wrote appeared in the peer-reviewed volume Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History, and another, on gender, leisure, and sports in Cameroon, will soon appear in the refereed edited text, Everyday Life on the African Continent: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity (Ohio University Press). Mougoué is also a guest editor for a forthcoming topical forum, or “issue,” in African Studies Review (“Bodily Practices and Aesthetic Rituals in 20th Century Africa”). Her research has also appeared in academic blogs including African Studies Association News and Africa is a Country.
In summer 2019, Mougoué will be working on her second book project as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Moore Institute in NUI Galway (Republic of Ireland). Mougoué has been a visiting scholar at the University of Buea (Cameroon) and a fellow at Northwestern University (United States). Currently, Mougoué is Co-Convenor of African Studies Association (ASA) Women’s Caucus, Advisory Member of ASA North American Scholars on Cameroon Association, Conference Liaison for Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH) and a member of the CCWH Mentorship Program Committee. Please click here for a CCWH brochure.
Mougoué has been invited to give plenary talks on her research at various academic institutions including Paris Diderot University (France), University of Leuven (Belgium), University of Buea (Cameroon), Northwestern University (United States), University of Notre Dame (United States), Unversity of Utah (United States) and University of California-Berkeley (United States). Her next plenary talks will be at the State University College at Buffalo (United States) and NUI Galway (Republic of Ireland). See the following for additional information on upcoming/past plenary talks.
In her spare time, Mougoué also gives talks at women’s prisons on varied issues pertaining to self-esteem, identity and overcoming varied forms of abuse.
Mougoué received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Purdue University. She holds an additional degree from Purdue, a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) from the WGSS Program. Mougoué’s hobbies include long-distance running (her favorite runs were on Mount Cameroon and in Hawaii, the big island), traveling, photography, painting, and writing poetry and short stories.
Main website image: Women in the British Southern Cameroons wearing the Kamerun National Congress (KNC) cloth, the 1950s.