Author

Selena Gould

Date of Award

5-19-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Susan Rose

Language

English

Abstract

My interest in studying the Anglophone Crisis began during my study abroad experience in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in the spring of 2018. I felt the impact of the conflict escalating throughout my time there, as my ability to freely travel and spend time in public became more limited despite living in a Francophone region. However, these minor inconveniences were a constant reminder of how truly distanced I was from the local reality of the conflict as a privileged white, American visitor. My restriction of movement throughout Cameroon could never amount to the grief of those who were uprooted or lost their lives amongst showers of bullets. Even though I knew that the crisis would worsen, I could not imagine the devastation that was to come. The conflict became more personal to me in the months following my return, I heard of the same neighborhoods that I walked through every day experiencing raids and increasing armament. I heard of personal contacts who were targeted by death threats, voter intimidation and arson. These were the same individuals who had expressed such hope, claiming that “by this time next year, [the Anglophone Crisis] will all be cleared up.” This minimization of the destructive capability of the Anglophone Crisis was not uncommon, as I engaged in many conversations with Cameroonians and Americans who appeared unconcerned and surprised by the escalation. The more I pursued this project the more I realized that perhaps we should be more concerned and unsurprised, as this conflict had been long historically established.

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