Martin A. Klein Prize
The Martin A. Klein Prize in African History recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on African history published in English during the previous calendar year. The books must focus primarily on continental Africa (including those islands usually treated as countries of Africa). Eligibility will otherwise be defined quite broadly, to include books on any period of African history and from any disciplinary field that incorporates an historical perspective. In making its selection, the prize committee will pay particular attention to methodological innovation, conceptual originality and literary excellence. Works that reinterpret old themes or develop new theoretical perspectives are welcome.
The prize is named for Martin A. Klein, who is currently professor of history at the University of Toronto. Funding for the prize was completed thanks to a substantial donation from the late Dr. Mougo Nyaggah of California State University at Fullerton and his wife Dr. Lynette Nyaggah. Mougo Nyaggah was Klein’s first graduate student at the University of California Berkeley. Nyaggah credited the completion of his doctorate to Klein’s mentoring, guidance, enthusiasm, and commitment to the research and teaching of African history. He observed that, “There are many Martins who have or will mentor and inspire many Africanist students in American universities. Those mentors will be honored by this prize for their human and scholarly contribution.” The general rules for submission are:
- Books may be submitted by authors or publishers, by sending one copy to each of the members of the committee. Anthologies, encyclopedias, and other edited volumes will not be considered.
- Books with an imprint of 2014 are eligible for the 2015 award.
- Nominators must complete the online Data Collection Form for each book submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each of the following committee members and clearly labeled “Klein Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent only to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.
Please Note: Entries must be postmarked or transmitted by May 15, 2015, to be eligible for the 2015 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced at the January 2016 AHA annual meeting in Atlanta.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
Review committee contact information for the next prize year will be posted by March 31.
2014 Klein Prize
Allen F. Isaacman, Univ. of Minnesota, and Barbara S. Isaacman, independent scholar
Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965–2007 (Ohio Univ. Press)
Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development reveals the human and environmental costs of a high modernist project undertaken by a racist colonial state and continued by its independent successor. Using a wide lens that examines hydrology, food security, political economy, and political conflict and drawing on a vast set of oral histories, the authors explore how the project fundamentally changed the ecology of the Zambezi Valley and lives of many thousands of Africans while yielding little development for Mozambiquans. This elegantly written, multi-faceted account raises vital questions about political sovereignty and development in colonial and postcolonial Africa.