Reed Couvillon is a doctoral student focusing on Modern Africa and Women and Gender History. They received their B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and spent time living in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer before coming to Rutgers. Their research interests include nationalism, post-independence identity and citizenship, women’s activism, and state building in francophone West Africa. Specifically, their work explores the period after independence in Benin (previously Dahomey) when new ideas of national belonging and citizenship were forged. They are especially interested in the gendered language of nationalism and how women worked to establish and shape thier new nation.