What Do you need !?

2023 ASA Awardees & Finalists

For Immediate Release
Downloadable PDF Press Release for Distribution
African Studies Association 2023 Awardees

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, 29 September 2023 – The African Studies Association is honored to announce its annual awards heralding some of the most prominent contributions to the field of African Studies. The ASA will announce the honors and winners during the organization’s 66th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA November 30 – December 2.  

The ASA Distinguished Africanist Award will honor the life work of Kenneth Harrow, Michigan State University and Richard Joseph, Northwestern University. Each year, the African Studies Association presents the Distinguished Africanist Award to a member of the association who has made extraordinary contributions to the field. 

Previous honorees include Steve Howard, Frederick Cooper, Pearl Robinson, Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, and Iris Berger.


The ASA presents the ASA Best Book Prize annually. The award recognizes the most important scholarly work in African studies published in English and distributed in the United States during the preceding year. The ASA began awarding the prize in 1965.

The finalists for the 2023 ASA Best Book Prize include: Omolade AdunbiEnclaves of Exception: Special Economic Zones and Extractive Practices in Nigeria (Indiana University Press, 2022); Mariana P. CandidoWealth, Land, and Property in Angola: A History of Dispossession, Slavery, and Inequality (Cambridge University Press, 2022); Jordanna MatlonA Man Among Other Men: The Crisis of Black Masculinity in Racial Capitalism (Cornell University Press, 2022); Uchenna OkejaDeliberative Agency: A Study in Modern African Political Philosophy (Indiana University Press, 2022); Peer SchoutenRoadblock Politics: The Origins of Violence in Central Africa(Cambridge University Press, 2022); and Claire L. WendlandPartial Stories: Maternal Death from Six Angles(University of Chicago Press, 2022).

The ASA Best Book Prize winner will be announced during the annual Awards Ceremony.


The ASA presents the Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize annually to the author of the best book on East African studies published in the previous calendar. The prize began in 2012 and is named in honor of Prof. Bethwell A. Ogot, a leading Kenyan historian, public servant and public intellectual, through a generous bequest from the estate of Prof. Kennell Jackson, Jr., of Stanford University.

The finalists for the 2023 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize are: Michael DeganiThe City Electric: Infrastructure and Ingenuity in Postsocialist Tanzania (Duke University Press); Holly Elisabeth HansonTo Speak and be Heard: Speaking Good Government in Uganda, ca. 1500 -2015 (Ohio University Press, 2022); Rhiannon StephensPoverty and Wealth in East Africa: A Conceptual History (Duke University Press, 2022); and Claire L. Wendland, Partial Stories: Maternal Death from Six Angles (University of Chicago Press, 2022).

The Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize winner will be announced during the annual Awards Ceremony.


The ASA will present the 2023 Outstanding Service Award to Elias Wondimu, CEO and Editorial Director of Tsehai Publishers. Each year, the African Studies Association presents the Outstanding Service Award to a member of the association who has distinguished themselves through their dedication to the ASA’s mission by facilitating the production of knowledge about Africa and its diasporas; its dissemination within the academy or in civil society; or by establishing or supporting collaborations and exchanges between institutions in the global north and in Africa.


The winners of the 2023 Graduate Student Paper Prize are Mahder Habtemariam Serekberhan, “Political Possibilities: The 2019 Sudanese Uprising” and Kuukuwa Manful, “Building Classes: Secondary Schools and Sociopolitical Stratification in Ghana.”

In 2023, the committee selected one Honorable Mention: Georgia Brunner, “Chaos, Possibility, and Foreclosure for Women’s Futures in Revolutionary Rwanda.”

The ASA Board of Directors established the annual Graduate Student Paper Prize in 2001 to acknowledge exceptional work presented at the previous year’s Annual Meeting. 


The ASA selected Colette & Justin directed by Alain Kassanda (2022) as the winner of the 2023 ASA Film Prize. The film will be screened at the ASA Annual Meeting on the evening of November 30 and will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

In 2023, the committee selected two exceptional runners up Under the Fig Trees dr. Erige Sehiri (2021), and Dent Pour Dent dr. Otis Ba Mamadou (2022). 


The Gretchen Walsh Book Donation Award committee selected one recipient for 2023: Jesuit Historical Institute in Africa, Hekima University College, Kenya (JHIA)

The African Studies Association and the Africana Librarians Council Gretchen Walsh Book Donation Committee, offers an annual grant to assist book donation projects with shipping costs to send books to African libraries and schools.


The ASA selected six recipients of the 2023 ASA Travel Grant Award to support emerging scholar participation in ICAADS programming at the 66th Annual Meeting. The 2023 recipients are: Christabel Tsoto, Joshua OsonduOusmane Lecoq Diop, Esihle Lupindo, Peace Mukazi Ndekezi, and Yekatit G. Tsehayu