JACQUELINE-BETHEL MOUGOUÉ is an interdisciplinary feminist historian of Africa who is particularly interested in how constructions of gender inform the comportment and performances of the body, religious beliefs, and political ideologies. She is Assistant Professor of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with additional affiliations in the Department of History and the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies. She teaches various courses including Politics of Fashion in Africa, Africa through Comics and Graphic Fiction, and Gender and Sexuality in Afrofuturism. Previously, she was Assistant Professor of History at Baylor University (2013-2019). Mougoué’s book, Gender, Separatist Politics and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon (University of Michigan Press, 2019) received the Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Prize, given annually by the Western Association of Women Historians to recognize the best monograph in the field of history. Diverse media outlets have interviewed Mougoué on her book, including New Books Network, Ufahamu Africa, Black Agenda Report, and SaharaTV. The Washington Post selected her book for their 2020 summer reading list. 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), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), University of Carleton (Canada; access video of talk here), University of Michigan (United States) and Michigan State University (United States; access video of talk here). Mougoué has been a fellow at Northwestern University (United States) and NUI-Galway (Republic of Ireland). Her work has received support from various organizations, including the West African Research Association and the American Historical Association.
Mougoué previously served as co-president (co-convener) of the African Studies Association (ASA) Women’s Caucus (2017-2019). She has served as a consultant for Wider Changes, a graphic novel on Cameroonian women’s political history commissioned by Initiative Perspektivwechsel (in English: Initiative of Change of Perspectives). She currently sits on the editorial advisory board for Feminist Africa and the Journal of Women’s History. She is a board member of the Coordinating Council for Women in History Executive Board.
Mougoué is currently working on additional projects. Her second book project, Diasporas in Africa, uses the early spread of Baha’i, a religion with tenets of racial and gender equality, to illuminate the dynamism of transnational diasporic connections in Africa. She considers scholarly calls to expand definitions of the African diaspora, contributing to a body of scholarship that rarely recognizes intra-African diaspora. By charting the experiences of African descended “pioneers” (so-called to distinguish them from European missionaries), the project illuminates understandings of global racial political projects from the 1950s to the 1970s, an era of Global South solidarities and activism. Also, Mougoué is co-editing a volume on the state of scholarship on African feminist history and guest editing two journal issues titled, “First Ladies of Africa: Beyond Femocracy and Wifeism?” and “Gender and Sexuality in African Futurism.”
Mougoué received her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Purdue University (United States). She holds an additional degree from Purdue, a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) from the WGSS Program. She earned a Certificate in Oral History (2009) from the Oral History Center at the University of California-Berkeley (United States).