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Women Who Change Into Men: A Gendered History of Precarity in 'Useful' Chad

Friday, November 9, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Rockefeller Hall, 190
Central Campus

This lecture is about two generations of women in southwestern Chad: the baou déné and the mosso. The baou déné are wealthy farmers, and the last generation of these ‘women who have a lot of things’ is disappearing. Younger women are referred to as mosso, which means ‘to fall down,’ because as small traders their lives are defined by precarity. The essay addresses the puzzle of how these groups of women are so present in the everyday life of the region known as ‘useful’ Chad while women as economic agents are absent from stories about it and about successive schemes to make it profitable. It also seeks to explain the paradox that women were able to accumulate wealth and ‘change into men’ during the colonial period – an idea that runs counter to a vast body of scholarship on gender and colonialism – yet ‘fall down’ under contemporary policies that are described as gender neutral because they are supposed to individualize risk and reward. 

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Event Type



Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Development Sociology


cascal, fgsscal, africal, cashum, dsoc


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Trisica Munroe

Contact Phone



Lori Leonard

Speaker Affiliation

Development Sociology

Dept. Web Site

Open To

General public

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