Nigerian-American Aderinto, winner of the $300,000 history prize, is praised by the US Mission

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Saheed Aderinto, a professor of history and African and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University, has received congratulations from the US Mission for being chosen as one of the prize’s nine recipients.

The Prize honors great study that sheds light on the past and aims to ground public conversation in a deeper grasp of history, according to a summary on the website of the sponsors.

Aderinto was congratulated on becoming “the first Nigerian to receive the $300,000 Dan David Prizeā€”the greatest financial award for achievement in the historical discipline in the world” by the US Mission on Monday in a Facebook post. The Lagos Studies Association’s founding president is Professor Aderinto.

The Dan David Prize defined Aderinto as a historian who reexamines colonial identity and subjecthood in contemporary Africa, with a concentration on Nigeria, using unconventional lenses including sexuality, weaponry, animals, and music.

The University of Ibadan and the University of Texas in Austin are where he reportedly earned his BA and PhD in history, respectively.

“Aderinto’s work encourages historians to think about what constituted the past in fundamentally new ways, to ask new questions about the authors of history and to question traditional assumptions about power, agency and authority,” the website adds.

His objective is to revise accepted definitions of the materials used to recreate African history.

According to reports, his work unearths underutilized materials and reexamines those that already exist in order to mobilize cutting-edge approaches and vocabularies from other domains and provide interpretations that lead historical study in unexpected ways.

According to reports, Aderinto refers to himself as a serial methodologist and decompartmentalizing historian who uses a variety of disciplinary tools to study the past and combines several historical genres to highlight the complexity of the people and events that occurred in the past.

The Prize continues, “Aderinto has written a number of books, including Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa: The Human and Nonhuman Creatures of Nigeria and When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958 (University of Illinois Press, 2015). (Ohio University Press, 2022).

The 2016 Nigerian Studies Association Book Prize went to When Sex Endangered the State for being the “most important scholarly book/work on Nigeria published in the English language.”

Aderinto is now penning a book and film about the development of Fuji music in Nigeria, according to the Prize.