The history department is pleased to announce that Dr. Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Assistant Professor of African history at the University of Chicago will soon present her work on women, marriage, and sex in Gabon, Africa. This public lecture entitled, “Contested Conjugal and Sexual Relations in Gabon: Changes in Gender, Social Status, and Political Authority,” will take place March 25th at 7:00 p.m. in 419 Roberts Hall.
Dr. Jean-Baptiste, who received her doctorate from Stanford University, specializes in the social, cultural, and political history of Central Africa. Her wide-ranging research encompasses gender, sexuality, urban history, colonialism, and law in late twentieth-century Gabon. Her past work has included interracial sex, métissage, and the codification of customary law. In a forthcoming article, entitled “‘A Black Girl Should Not be With a White Man’: Sex, Race, and African Women’s Social and Legal Status in Colonial Gabon, c. 1900-1946,” Dr. Jean-Baptiste looks more closely at interracial sex.
Currently, Dr. Jean-Baptiste is working on a manuscript that considers contested conjugal and sexual relationships in Libreville. She uses these cases to dissect and explain changing gender roles, social status, and political authority in the merging city. Her public lecture draws on this recent research.
This lecture is free and open to the public. Support is provided by the History Department, Women’s Studies Program, Global Studies Program, and the Humanities Center.