Nigerian-American Professor, Saheed Aderinto, Wins ‘Largest History Prize In The World’

Saheed Aderinto


A Professor of History and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University, Saheed Aderinto, has won the Dan David Prize, characterized as “the largest history prize in the world”.

The Dan David Prize is a prestigious worldwide award that recognizes and promotes excellent contributions to history and other disciplines that illuminate the human past.

Each year, the Dan David Prize gives up to nine $300,000 prizes to outstanding early and mid-career historians and practitioners.

In an open nomination procedure, the 2023 Dan David Award winners were chosen from hundreds of nominations made by colleagues, institutions, and the general public. The finalists were picked by an annual global council of specialists.

The 2023 prize was awarded to nine rising historians from throughout the world.

The Dan David Foundation announced the prize on Tuesday, saying Mr Aderinto is one of nine winners who will each receive $300,000 in appreciation of their great scholarship in the historical subject.

With a total monetary prize of $2.7 million, the Dan David Prize “recognises outstanding scholarship that illuminates the past and seeks to anchor public discourse in a deeper understanding of history,”.

Recipients must be engaged in “outstanding and original work related to the study of the human past, employing any chronological, geographical, and methodological focus.” They “should exhibit strong potential for future excellence, innovation, and leadership that will help shape the study of the past for years to come.”

While the Prize winners “must have completed at least one major project, the prize is not given for that project, but rather in recognition of the winner’s overall achievements as well as their potential for future excellence,”.

The Washington Post described the Dan David Prize as “the new MacArthur-style ‘genius grant’ for history.” Selection is by nomination.

The awards ceremony will be held in Israel in May.

The selection committee commended Mr 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,”.


Mr. Aderinto is the author of eight books, 37 journal papers and book chapters, 41 encyclopedia articles, and 21 book reviews. Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa, his most recent book, investigates the significance of animals in Nigerian history.

He is currently working on a book and a documentary about Fuji music. Mr. Aderinto is also the founder of the Lagos Studies Association and a Senior Research Fellow at the French Institute for Research in Africa.

Mr Aderinto, who was born in Ibadan in 1979, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Ibadan in 2004 and his Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. He began teaching at Western Carolina University in 2010 and will be promoted to full Professor of History in 2021. In 2022, he transferred to Florida International University.

Ana Antic of the University of Copenhagen, Karma Ben Johanan of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Elise Burton of the University of Toronto, Krista Goff of the University of Miami, Stephanie JonesRogers of the University of California Berkeley, Anita Radini of the University College, Dublin, Mirjam Brusius of the German Historical Institute in London, Bartow Elmore of Ohio State University, and Tyrone Freeman of Indiana University are the other 2023 winners.


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