Friday 3 March 2023

US-based Nigerian Professor Saheed Aderinto Wins $300,000 History Prize

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The 2023 winners were announced on February 28, with Aderinto, who is a professor of History and African Diaspora Studies, making the list.

 Saheed Aderinto

A Nigerian professor at Florida International University, Saheed Aderinto, has won the 2023 Dan David Prize, TheCable reports.

The Dan David Prize is a major international award that recognises and supports outstanding contributions to the study of history and other disciplines that shed light on the human past.

It is considered to be the “largest history prize in the world.”

The 2023 winners were announced on February 28, with Aderinto, who is a professor of History and African Diaspora Studies, making the list.

Each of the winners — nine in total — will receive $300,000 to recognize their achievements and support their future work.

The selection committee praised Aderinto’s work “for situating African history at the cutting edge of diverse literatures in the history of sexuality, nonhumans, and violence, noting that it is exceptional to see a single person leading scholarship in all of these fields.”

Aderinto was born in Ibadan in 1979. In 2004, he received his Bachelor’s in History from the University of Ibadan and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin in 2010.

In the same year, he started his teaching career at Western Carolina University where he became a full Professor of History in 2021. He later moved to Florida International University in 2022.

The professor has published 8 books, 37 journal articles and book chapters, 41 encyclopedia articles, and 21 book reviews.

His recent book ‘Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa’ examines the role of animals in Nigerian history. He is also presently writing a book and making a documentary on Fuji music.

Aderinto is also the founding president of the Lagos Studies Association and a senior research fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa. 

According to the Washington Post, the Dan David Prize is “the new MacArthur-style ‘genius grant’ for history.”

Selection is by nomination and the awards ceremony will hold in Israel in May.

To be eligible, recipients must exhibit strong potential for excellence, innovation, and leadership that will shape the study of the past for years to come.

“They must be engaged in outstanding and original work related to the study of the human past, employing any chronological, geographical, and methodological focus,” it added.

“Prize winners must have completed at least one major project, the prize is not given for that project, but rather in recognition of the winner’s overall achievements as well as their potential for future excellence.”

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