Oluwakemi Balogun and Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué are joint winners of the Aidoo-Snyder Prize 2021. The announcement was made on October 6, 2021.
The Aidoo-Snyder book prize is awarded by the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association for an outstanding book that prioritizes African women’s experiences. Named in honour of Ama Ata Aidoo, the celebrated Ghanaian novelist and short story writer, and Margaret Snyder, the founding Director of UNIFEM, this $500 prize seeks to acknowledge the excellence of contemporary scholarship being produced by women about African women. In alternate years, the prize is awarded for the best scholarly book, or for the best creative work. Some previous winners of the award first handed out in 2005 include Jumoke Verissimo, Yvonne Vera, Aminatta Forna, Grace Bantebya-Kyomuhendo, Yaa Gyasi among others.
The 2021 Book Prize committee selected two winners for the Aidoo-Snyder Prize for best scholarly work: Oluwakemi Balogun’s Beauty Diplomacy: Embodying an Emerging Nation and Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué’s Gender, Separatist Politics, and Embodied Nationalism in Cameroon.
Dr. Mougoué is an Assistant Professor of African Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an interdisciplinary feminist historian whose research centres on the gendering of identities in Africa. This includes how the constructions of gender inform the comportment and performances of the body, religious beliefs, and political ideologies.
Balogun is an Associate Professor in Women’s & Gender Studies and Sociology at the University of Oregon. Her work centres on identity formation in relation to immigration and nationalism in Nigeria and the Diaspora. She won the prize for her book Beauty Diplomacy: Embodying an Emerging Nation. The book is published by Stanford University Press and looks at the underlying ideas about gender, class, and citizenship in Nigerian pageant culture.
Balogun responded to the announcement saying, “I’m excited to be the co-winner of the 2021 Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize alongside Dr Jacqueline-Bethel Tchouta Mougoué!”