African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships

Through fellowship competitions, regional workshops, and peer networking, the African Humanities Program provides support to the humanities in five African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The centerpiece of the program is the distribution of fellowships to African scholars in these countries for work on dissertations, research projects, and scholarly manuscripts. Dissertation awards are listed below; also see postdoctoral awards. The program is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Read more about this fellowship program.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 


Mariam Adepeju Abdulraheem-Mustapha
Mariam Adepeju Abdulraheem-Mustapha  |  Abstract
Juvenile justice administration in Nigeria is an offshoot of the general criminal justice system. Its approach towards children has always been marked by difficulties associated with protective and traditional approaches of dealing with crimes. Despite the setting up of corrective institutions to cater for delinquent juveniles, the increasing number of juveniles involved in crimes continued unabated and those institutions are now over-stretched. This lacuna stimulates the study and need for an empirical examination of the problems inherent in the juvenile justice administration in Nigeria. However, because of its overlapping nature, the work engages historically the experiences of children with the nation’s juvenile administration system. This is therefore a field that has to be understood within a humanistic context. It adds to the existing knowledge and literature in the field and opens up new frontiers for further research

, Public Law, University of Ilorin  -  Juvenile Justice Administration in Nigeria and the Regulatory Framework on the Rights of the Child

Chukwuma Onyebuchi Okeke
Chukwuma Onyebuchi Okeke  |  Abstract
The syntax and semantics of the Igbo verb have attracted the interest of scholars in the field, who have adopted different approaches to provide answers to the question of meanings in Igbo verb roots. The study adopts a descriptive survey using the appraisal tool to identify the manifestations and use of the verbs h?? (see) and n?? (hear) in two significant Igbo literary works, Ihe Aghasaa and J?? Obinna. It seeks to ascertain how and the extent to which the structuralist, generative, semantic and lexicographic analysis of Igbo verbs by previous scholars can be improved using a polysemy paradigm of cognitive semantics in context. This is because the prevous theories present Igbo verbs as having many English eqivalents which naturally will lead to the conclusion that all Igbo verbs are polysemous. The study therefore, investigates how a polysemy approach of cognitive semantics offers more insightful explanations than the previous approaches.

Lecturer I, Linguistics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka  -  Cognitive Domains of the Sense Relations in Selected Igbo Verbs

Mohammed Ayodeji Ademilokun
Mohammed Ayodeji Ademilokun  |  Abstract
The study examined selected political rally discourse for the 2011 elections in Southwestern Nigeria. It examined the linguistic resources used in the discourse, analysed the visual resources used, explored the relationship between the verbal and non-verbal elements of meaning in the discourse and unpacked the socio-political realities reflected in it. This was done with a view to characterising the discourse and unpacking features of the current political practices and culture in Nigeria. The data for the study spanned talks, songs, surrogate languages, costume etc, obtained from the political rallies of the strongest two political parties in the six States in Southwestern Nigeria toward the 2011 general elections. Participant observation method was employed by the reseacher and his assistants to record the discourse at the rallies using appropriate research instruments. Lemke's multimodal semiotic theory, Halliday's systemic functional linguistics and Agu's African musical analysis paradigm were adopted as theoretical framework for the analysis of the data gathered due to the multimodal orientation of the study.The study seeks to demonstrate that political rally discourse has unique mutating features which define Nigerian political practices and contribute to the political development of the Nigerian nation.

Assistant Lecturer, English, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  A Multimodal Semiotic Study of Selected Political Rally Discourse of 2011 Election Campaigns in Southwestern Nigeria

Mutiat Titilope Oladejo
Mutiat Titilope Oladejo  |  Abstract
Historically, Ibadan market women were active in political mobilisation. They engaged in eclectic political actions during the decolonisation process. Their leaders significantly swayed the electorate both in and beyond the market places. Despite the roles of market women in the political events of Ibadan, only a few studies have made tangential references to these activities. Therefore, this study examined the historical development of the roles of Ibadan market women in politics between 1900 and 1995 with a view to establishing their contributions. The historical approach was adopted which included the use of primary and secondary data. Primary data involved interviews with market women who plied their trade in the old markets of Dugbe, Gbagi and Oja’ba, Ibadan.

Doctoral Student, History, University of Ibadan  -  Ibadan Market Women and Politics, 1900 to 1995

Nkiruka Jane Nwafor
Nkiruka Jane Nwafor  |  Abstract
Nnenna Okore and Lucy Azubuike are two Nigerian women artists, who belong to the younger generation of artists familiar with contemporary art media. They explore contemporary art genres that are not only thought provoking but also, in an era of advanced technologies, offered liberating but globalized perspective to art, cultural differencies and other personal concerns. This project argues that both artists in their respective styles, employ contemporary media and genre such as, installation, conceptual photography, film and performance art to deconstruct political, societal and historical assumptions in Nigeria concerning women and women's art practices and how these impact their lives and position in the twenty-first century. Their artistic projects not only challenge ideas about conventional genres, they also constitute contemporary visual activism, intended to bring to the fore ploitical, cultural, societal and historical issues in Africa.

, Nnamdi Azikiwe University  -  The Imperatives of Visual Activism in the Works of Two Contemporary Nigerian Female Artists, Nnenna Okore and Lucy Azubuike

Eunice Omolara Olarewaju
Eunice Omolara Olarewaju  |  Abstract
Nigerian journalists often use generic pronouns and nouns like he, mankind, chairman for female and male sexes in their writings. However, it seems Nigerian scholars have not done a systematic study on how the use of these gender-bias expressions is linked to power play, inequality and class struggle in our society. This study, therefore, aims to investigate gendered-English usage in the Nigerian print media and the ideology that surrounds it. The data for the study are gathered from eight randomly selected English-medium Nigerian newspapers and also from interviews with thirty Nigerian journalists. Through a critical reading of ten randomly selected editions of each of the newspapers, texts from news reports, editorials and features in the newspapers are compiled and analyzed for the occurrences of gender-bias expressions. It is expected that the study will reveal the patterns of gender-bias expressions and the attitudes of journalists towards the use of these expressions.

, English, Obafemi Awolowo University  -  Critical Investigation of Gendered English Usage in Nigerian Newspapers

Jeremiah Nwankwegu
Jeremiah Nwankwegu  |  Abstract
This study proposes to comparatively investigate the interrogative grammars of some selected dialects of the North Eastern Group of Dialects of Igbo (Izhii, Ezaa, Ehugbo, Uburu, Nkaleha) and the Standard Igbo with the view that there is more variability in interrogative grammars between the Standard Igbo and its dialects, and even across the non-standard dialects, than one might expect. The study will seek to show that Igbo dialects differ from the standard in a number of ways, but these are not all derivable from a single difference in parameter setting and that within Igbo language, indeed, within a single construction such as the interrogative, there are a number of different grammars possible. The work will be theoretically couched within the Minimalist Program and empirically guided by the microparametric approach to comparative syntax.

Graduate Assistant, Languages & Linguistics, Ebonyi State University  -  Microparametric Syntax of Interrogatives in Igbo Dialects

James Zotto
James Zotto  |  Abstract
The Lake Nyasa border dispute between Tanzania and Malawi is historical and requires a historical analysis. The border between the two countries was established by the Anglo-Germany Agreement of 1890, which put the boundary in the shore of Lake Nyasa in modern day Tanzania. However, in 1919 German lost sovereignty and her colonies were administered under mandate system.A part of German East Africa was administered by Britain and named Tanganyika (Tanzania). In reviewing the boundaries of Tanganyika, Britain shifted the boundary from the shore to the middle of Lake Nyasa. When Tanzania got independence, she maintained a water-line boundary while Malawi claimed a shore-line boundary. The boundary alignment causes conflict which requires analysis of historical processes.This helps to understand the causes of the dispute and how the dispute shapes changes and continuities of cross-border relations of the two countries.

Assistant Lecturer, History, University of Dar es Salaam  -  A History of the Lake Nyasa Border Dispute between Tanzania and Malawi