Gender, Separatist Politics, and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon (University of Michigan Press, 2019)
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Transnational Histories, Nodes of Encounter, and Belonging in Africa
Mougoué’s second book project, “Transnational Histories, Nodes of Encounter, and Belonging in Africa,” uses the early spread of the Baha’i faith in Africa as a case study to illuminate new transnational histories. A religion with roots in Iran that teaches the unity and equality of all religions and peoples (including gender and racial equality), Baha’ism gained thousands of adherents in colonial Africa during the decolonization period of the 1950s and 1960s. Early Baha’i converts, mostly young men, proselytized the faith throughout West Africa. Through Baha’ism, early converts traversed spatial boundaries, forged new spaces of belonging, and, ultimately, fashioned new (post)colonial identities. While transnational historical work in Africa has usually focused on slave trades, the project contributes to the burgeoning field of post-national transnational history. In what Fiona Paisley and Pamela Scully highlight as an important aspect of transnational history, the project decenters “the nation and the state as the natural foci of historical enquiry” (Paisley and Scully, 2019: 1). Mougoué examines and employs the use of “transnational biographies” (Hannerz 1996) and what she term “nodes of encounter” to privilege everyday experiences of individuals and provide new color to our understanding of decolonization and transnational histories in Africa.
The State of Scholarship on African Feminist History, edited by Alicia C. Decker, J.B. Tchouta Mougoué, and Maha Marouan
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