Gender, Separatist Politics, and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon (University of Michigan Press, 2019)
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Gender, Religion and Transcontinental Networks in Africa
Mougoué’s current research, like the first book, highlights gender history. Just as European rule waned in Africa in the 1950s and 1960s, a religion with roots in Iran that teaches the unity and equality of all religions and people gained thousands of adherents. This book project examines conversion to the Baha’i faith amongst young Christian African men. It argues that young men who converted reconfigured social mobility and postcolonial cultural and political identities as part of the broader revolution of decolonization on the continent. Baha’i provided young African men autonomy that contrasted with the racially hierarchical structure of European churches, where racist practices persisted even as governments changed. African teenagers and men aged 13 to 25 used this autonomy to facilitate beneficial networks when participating in revolutionary acts of religious conversions, simultaneously developing their own ideas about gender norms and varied postcolonial identities. Proselytizing throughout West Africa as “pioneers” of the faith, they converted hundreds of Africans, including a king in Benin. With young men leading the charge, Baha’i converts forcibly remade Christian churches as Baha’i houses of worship. While numerous works have looked to the west to forge Africans’ global connections across the Atlantic (e.g., through the transatlantic slave trade and pan-Africanism), this work looks mostly eastward, toward East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and focuses on the transcontinental connections and cultural changes as the struggle for self-determination swept across the continent.
The State of Scholarship on African Feminist History, edited by Alicia C. Decker, J.B. Tchouta Mougoué, and Maha Marouan
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