The shortlist for the African Studies Association UK’s Fage and Oliver Prize 2020 was announced on May 20, 2020.
The African Studies Association UK facilitates linkages between UK and African institutions, and between scholars in Africa and the UK. They support African scholars publishing in Africanist journals published in the UK, scholarly journal publishing in Africa, scholarly book publishing in Africa, and the exchange of ideas in and about Africa.
One of their most important activities is the Fage and Oliver Prize named after John Donnelly Fage (1921-2002) and Roland Oliver (1923-2014) who were pioneers of British African Studies. The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding original scholarly work that is enlightening for a wider public about African issues published during the preceding two years. The 2018 winner was Professor Francis B Nyamnjoh for #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient.
The prize this year is judged by Professor Ray Bush (Chair) alongside Dr Reginald Cline-Cole, Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham, Dr Diana Jeater, Department of History, University of Liverpool; Professor Madhu Krishnan, Department of English, University of Bristol and Dr Kate Skinner, Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham.
This jury selected a shortlist of nine exceptional books, each chosen for originality, engaginess and readability about crucially important issues for Africa. The nine books on the 2020 shortlist, alphabetically by author, are:
- Silenced Resistance: Women, Dictatorships, and Genderwashing in Western Sahara and Equatorial Guineaby Joanna Allan (USA, University of Wisconsin Press)
- The Revolution’s Echoes. Music, Politics, and Pleasure in Guinea by Nomi Dave (USA, The University of Chicago Press)
- The Man Who Killed Apartheid. The Life of Dimitri Tsafendasby Harris Dousemetzis (South Africa, Jacana Media (Pty))
- Modernist Art in Ethiopia by Elizabeth W. Giorgis (USA, Ohio University Press)
- A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the rise of the slave trade to the age of revolution by Toby Green (UK, Allen Lane)
- At the crossroads: Nigerian travel writing and literary culture in Yoruba and Englishby Rebecca Jones (UK, James Currey, Boydell & Brewer)
- Mũkami Kĩmathi: Mau Mau Woman Freedom Fighter by Wairimu Nderitu (Kenya, Mdahalo Bridging Divides)
- An Ethnography of Hunger. Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sunby Kristin Phillips (USA, Indiana University Press)
- Africa’s Gene Revolution. Genetically Modified Crops and the Future of African Agricultureby Matthew A Schnurr (Canada, McGill-Queen’s University Press)
Commenting on behalf of the jury, Professor Bush said, ‘We have been delighted and challenged by the tremendous quality of submissions. We have read exceptionally engaged and important work on Africa from a range of disciplines which made shortlisting difficult but enjoyable’.
As the biennial association’s conference was cancelled, the winner will be announced via online channels on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.