Assistant Professor of History
Jessica Reuther is a historian of Africa, gender and sexuality, and law. Her current project is a socio-legal history of girlhood in French colonial Dahomey, the modern-day Republic of Benin, during the first half of the twentieth century. Through examining girlhood as an identity formulated in colonial legal arenas during a foundational moment in both the international children’s rights and women’s rights movements, her research provides new insights into how Africans, though largely silent and absent in international forums, expressed and enacted dissenting viewpoints on developing global consensuses about ideals of childhood and gender. For the project, she has conducted research across the Francophone world in Benin, Senegal, France, and Switzerland. She joined Ball State in Fall 2016 after completing her PhD at Emory University.