Faculty Feature

Professor Aderinto receives Dan David Prize, the world’s largest prize for history scholarship

Dr. Saheed Aderinto, professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies in the Green School of International & Public Affairs at Florida International University, has been awarded the prestigious Dan David Prize, a major international award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the study of history and includes $300,000, the world’s largest cash prize in the field.

The selection committee lauded Dr. 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.”

The prize’s website adds: “Aderinto’s work challenges historians to think about what constitutes the past in completely new ways, to ask new questions about the makers of history and to question conventional assumptions about power, agency and authority. He aims to recalibrate conventional definitions of sources used to reconstruct African history.”

“While $300,000 is a lot of money, the true value of the Dan David Prize is not the cash per se but what it would help me do for my students and mentees, FIU, global infrastructure of knowledge, and communities of practice,” said Dr. Aderinto. “Hence, the award is about my scholarly achievement as much as about FIU and the communities I represent.”

The Dan David Prize, which is headquartered at Tel Aviv University, is awarded up to nine recipients annually. It is presented to early- and mid-career scholars and practitioners in history in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the study of the past and to support their future work in history.

“On behalf of the entire Green School, we are very proud that Dr. Aderinto’s innovative scholarship, which helps provide a new understanding of African history, has been recognized with the world’s leading history award,” said Green School Interim Dean Shlomi Dinar. “It is vital that we engage in historical inquiry that provides insights into contemporary times.”

Dr. Aderinto, founding president of the Lagos Studies Association, is the author of Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa: The Human and Nonhuman Creatures of Nigeria (Ohio University Press/New African Histories Series, 2022), Guns and Society in Colonial Nigeria: Firearms, Culture, and Public Order (Indiana University Press, January 2018), and When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958 (University of Illinois Press, 2015), which won the 2016 Nigerian Studies Association’s Book Award Prize for the “most important scholarly book/work on Nigeria published in English language.” His work has appeared in leading Africanist and specialist journals, and he is currently writing a book and making a documentary about the history of Fuji music in Nigeria.