Jacqueline-Bethel Mougoué

Position title: Assistant Professor

Email: jmougoue@wisc.edu

1402 Van Hise Hall


  • PhD Purdue University
  • MA Purdue University
    • Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Purdue University
  • B.A. Wayne State University


As an interdisciplinary feminist historian, I am particularly interested in the gendering of identities in Africa. The dominant themes that connect my research interests and publications include how the constructions of gender inform the comportment and performances of the body, religious beliefs, and political ideologies. I have been invited to give plenary talks on my research at various academic institutions including Paris Diderot University (France), University of Leuven (Belgium), and University of Buea (Cameroon). I have been a fellow at Northwestern University (United States) and NUI-Galway (Republic of Ireland). My work has received support from various organizations including the West African Research Association and the American Historical Association. I currently sit on the editorial advisory board for Feminist Africa and the Journal of Women’s History.

Personal Site

Selected Publications

My book, Gender, Separatist Politics, and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon examines the gendering of political identity and separatist movements when Cameroon was a federal republic, 1961 to 1972. In highlighting the strategies women used to navigate a turbulent political setting, my book provides a useful historical background to the long-standing Cameroonian separatist/secessionist movements specifically and useful entrée to understanding women’s roles in separatist and secessionist projects across the world, such as in Canada (Quebec), the United States (Puerto Rico), and China (Hong Kong). The book 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. The book has been reviewed in the Washington Post and in AfricanFeminism.

My 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. By charting the experiences of African descended “pioneers” (so-called to distinguish them from European missionaries), it illuminates understandings of global racial political projects from the 1950s to the 1970s, an era of Global South solidarities and activism. While the African diaspora traditionally focuses on individuals of African descent outside of Africa, I look inward to highlight the transnational histories of one disparate Black diasporic religious community anchored in Africa but always in conversation with Black individuals in Africa and the diaspora.

I’m currently working on additional projects. I am co-editing a volume on the state of scholarship on African feminist history. Additionally, I am guest editing two journal issues titled, “First Ladies of Africa: Beyond Femocracy and Wifeism?” and “Gender and Sexuality in African Futurism.”

Recent Articles

“Over-Making Nyanga: Mastering ‘Natural’ Beauty and Disciplining Excessive Bodily Practices in Metropolitan Cameroon.” African Studies Review Vol. 62, Issue 2 (June 2019): 175-198.

“Gender and (Militarized) Secessionist Movements in Africa: An African Feminist’s Reflections.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism Vol. 17, No. 2 (2018): 338-358.

“Housewives at Husbands’ Throats: Recalcitrant Wives and Gender Norms in a West African Nation, 1961-1972.” Gender & History Vol. 29, Issue 2 (2017): 405-422.

“African Women do not Look Good in Wigs: Gender, Beauty Rituals and Cultural Identity in Anglophone Cameroon, 1961-1972.” Feminist Africa Issue 21 (2016): 7-22.