Announcing the Martin A. Klein Prize in African History

We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Martin A. Klein Prize in African History, which will be conferred annually starting at the January 2011 annual meeting. The prize will recognize the most distinguished work of scholarship on the history of continental African history published in English during the previous calendar year.

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 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 credits 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 effort to establish a prize in African history began almost five years ago, when Carolyn Brown (Rutgers Univ.) noted the absence of a prize for works published on the history of the continent while she was co-chairing the AHA Program Committee. Since that time, Dr. Brown has been working with a 13-member fundraising committee to raise the funds necessary to endow the prize. Through their good efforts, we received contributions from more than 50 members of the profession. But the fund remained less than halfway to the amount necessary to endow a new prize until the Nyaggahs stepped in with their very generous gift.

A more detailed prize announcement will be distributed later this fall, after the three members of the first prize selection committee are named. The first formal award will be announced at the general meeting of the Association in 2011 (to be held in Boston on January 7th) for a work published between May 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

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