Press Release

African Studies Association 2022 Finalists and Awardees for Africanists

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, 3 October 2022 – 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 65th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA November 17-19.

The ASA will present the Distinguished Africanist Award to honor the life work of Steve Howard, Ohio University and Brenda Randolph, Howard 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. In an unparalleled decision, the ASA Prize Committee has made a one-year expansion of the award to honor and acknowledge two distinguished scholars. This expansion is an effort to correct years of scholarly bias and acknowledge the exceptional value of scholarship often relegated to the margins as ‘service.’ Committee members felt that this extraordinary post-pandemic context presented an opportunity to eliminate these discrepancies and inequalities and to break down the rigid boundaries between disciplines.

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

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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 2022 ASA Best Book Prize are: Serena Owusua Dankwa, Knowing Women: Same-Sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana, (Cambridge University Press, 2021); Cajetan Iheka, African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics, (Duke University Press, 2021); Marissa Mika, Africanizing Oncology: Creativity, Crisis, and Cancer in Uganda, (Ohio University Press, 2021); James H. Smith, The Eyes of the World: Mining the Digital Age in the Eastern DR Congo, (University of Chicago Press, 2021); and Laura Ann Twagira, Embodied Engineering: Gendered Labor, Food Security, and Taste in Twentieth-Century Mali, (Ohio University Press, 2021).

The winner will be announced at the Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony.

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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 2022 Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize are: Joshua Grace, African Motors: Technology, Gender and the History of Development, (Duke University Press, 2021); Marissa Mika, Africanizing Oncology: Creativity, Crisis, and Cancer in Uganda, (Ohio University Press, 2021); David L. Schoenbrun, The Names of the Python: Belonging in East Africa, 900 to 1930, (University of Wisconsin Press, 2021); and Rebecca Tapscott, Arbitrary states: Social control and modern Authoritarianism in Museveni’s Uganda, (Oxford University Press, 2021).

The winner will be announced at the Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony.

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The ASA will present the 2022 Outstanding Service Award to the African Language Teachers’ Association (ALTA) via their President, Mariame Sy. 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.

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The winner of the 2022 Graduate Student Paper Prize is Adaugo Pamela Nwakanma: “The Gendered Economics of Political Empowerment: Lessons from Nigeria, Africa’s Largest Economy”

In 2022, the committee selected one Honorable Mention: Diekara Oloruntoba-Oju, “The Body Politic(s) of Resistance: State Violence and Youth Bodies in Nigeria’s #Endsars Movement.”

The ASA Board of Directors established the annual Graduate Student Paper Prize in 2001 and singles out an essay presented at the previous year’s Annual Meeting.

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The ASA selected When a Farm goes Aflame directed by Jide Tom Akinleminu (2021) as the winner of the 2022 ASA Film Prize. The film will be screened at the ASA Annual Meeting to be followed by a Film Director Q&A.

In 2022, the committee selected two exceptional runners up Delphine’s Prayer dr. Rosine Mbakam (2021), and Abu Saddam dr. Nadine Kahn (2021).

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The Conover-Porter Award committee selected one recipient for the 2022 Conover-Porter Award for Africana Bibliography or Reference Work: A dictionary of Mozambican history and society (Revised), by Darch C. & Souto Amélia Neves de. 2022. HSRC Press.

The Conover-Porter Award was established in 1980 in honor of two pioneers in African studies bibliography: Helen F. Conover and Dorothy B. Porter Wesley. The Conover-Porter Award is the most prestigious award for published works of bibliography or reference on Africa, jointly awarded by the Africana Librarians Council and the ASA.

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