Aderinto Wins the 2023 Dan David Prize

Saheed Aderinto, a professor of History and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University, has been announced as one of the winners of the 2023 Dan David Prize. The prestigious international award, which is described as “the largest history prize in the world,” recognises outstanding contributions to the study of history and other disciplines that shed light on the human past. 

The prize awards up to nine winners $300,000 each year and is open to emerging scholars and practitioners in the historical disciplines.

The 2023 Dan David Prize winners were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted by colleagues, institutions and the general public in an open nomination process. The finalists were chosen by a global committee of experts that changes annually. This year, nine emerging scholars of history from around the world were announced as winners.

Announcing the winner last Tuesday, the Dan David Foundation stated that Saheed Aderinto is one of the nine winners who will receive $300,000 each in recognition of their outstanding scholarship in the historical discipline. 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 of the prize 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.” 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.”

Born in Ibadan in 1979, Saheed Aderinto received his Bachelor’s in History from the University of Ibadan in 2004 and his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin. He started his teaching career at Western Carolina University in 2010 and became a full Professor of History in 2021. He moved to Florida International University in 2022.

Mr Aderinto has published eight books, 37 journal articles and book chapters, 41 encyclopaedia articles, and 21 book reviews. His latest book, Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa, examines the role of animals in Nigerian history. He is currently writing a book and making a documentary on Fuji music. In addition, Mr Aderinto is the founding president of the Lagos Studies Association and a Senior Research Fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa.

The other 2023 winners of the Dan David Prize include Ana Antic from the University of Copenhagen, Karma Ben Johanan from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Elise Burton from the University of Toronto, Krista Goff from the University of Miami, Stephanie Jones-Rogers from the University of California Berkeley, Anita Radini from the University College Dublin, Mirjam Brusius from the German Historical Institute in London, Bartow Elmore from Ohio State University, and Tyrone Freeman from Indiana University and Purdue University.

The Dan David Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of history and the humanities. It celebrates ground breaking achievements that expand the frontiers of knowledge and recognize innovative and interdisciplinary research in the service of the public good.