2017 NSA Book Award

Every year, the Nigerian Studies Association gives an award to the best academic book or monograph published in the previous calendar year.

The Nigerian Studies Association is pleased to announce the co-winners for the 2017 Book Prize. This year, the award goes to Olufemi Vaughan for his 2016 book, Religion and the Making of Nigeria,  and to Kathryn A. Rhine for her 2016 book, The Unseen Things: Women, Secrecy, and HIV in Northern Nigeria. 








Both books are well-written and exceptionally well-researched. Each combined materials from a wide variety of sources, and are easily followed; with effective, smooth, and logical transitions. The timeliness of the two subject matters (religion, gender, HIV), the complexity of the research, and the compelling presentation of their findings, make both to be valuable contributions to the understanding of the Nigerian history, state, and society at this time. ​

Please join us in congratulating them.

Olufemi Vaughan, Religion and the Making of Nigeria. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2016

This is an important book which sets the state of Nigeria in a framework which stretches to both before and past the colonial era, connecting long processes of change. Vaughan examines Nigerian political history with a focus on three religious traditions – indigenous, Christian and Islamic – and their importance to the relations between the North, Middle Belt, and South West regions. He treats these religions as multifaceted historical forces, both mutable and powerful, which, through their interaction and because of the particular historical circumstances framing Nigeria’s past, have been central to Nigeria’s history. This exhaustively researched, wide-ranging, and interdisciplinary study delineates distinct periods in the story, defined by shifting imperatives, but connects them into a stimulating and compelling account which reveals the deeply embedded power of religious appeals and identities in Nigeria’s past. Vaughan masterfully integrates a wide range of historical and archival sources to frame for us a picture of a nation in constant ferment. His conclusions are not optimistic. Nigeria, the author argues, will continue to fonder and its stability undermined, from the crippling impact of ethno-sectarian conflicts until the custodians of the Nigerian state can figure out a way to devise and establish a workable and sustainable structural, constitutional, and political framework. Lucid and engaging, it is the first book of its type to successfully undertake such a panoramic sweep of the centrality of religion to the socio-political transformation of Africa’s most populous nation. Anyone interested in Nigeria’s future will be well served by the insightful perspectives Vaughan provides on Nigeria’s troubled state.

Olufemi Vaughan is Alfred Sargent Lee ’41 and Mary Farley Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College.

Rhine, Kathryn A. The Unseen Things: Women, Secrecy, and HIV in Northern Nigeria. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016

The Unseen Things, a product of years of meticulous ethnographic research, reveals the hopes of HIV-positive women in northern Nigeria and the daily challenges that confront them as they embrace imaginative ways of creating better lives for themselves and their families. This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the cultural, gender, and class issues surrounding the spread of HIV in a patriarchal, conservative society where issues of sexuality place women at a disadvantaged position. The voices of HIV-positive women interviewed in this book highlight the universal human longing for love, respectability, and recognition, regardless of one’s fate. The stories told by these women are moving and engrossing. Rejecting society’s labelling of them as victims, and thus consigned to a state of pitiful oblivion, these women refused to be silenced. The book explores how these women, with well-concealed contrivances or secrecy and with subtle but well-focused defiance, successfully made claims to intimacy, desire, pleasure, and dignity that society and their medical conditions contrived together to deny them. It is in humanizing these women as well as their pain, guilt, burdens, and desire for respect and recognition, in very richly textured, accessible, and exceptionally informative and insightful narrative, that Rhine makes a signal contribution to our understanding of women, secrecy, and religion in Northern Nigeria in the age of HIV.

Katherine A Rhine is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas.

NSA at the 2017 ASA

The Nigerian Studies Association is sponsoring a roundtable on Biafra at the 60th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Washington DC!

One Pound Note, Biafra

VI-A-3 Roundtable: Remembering the Nigerian Civil War @ 50: Resilience Amidst Adversity. Thursday, 11/17/2017 – 10:30 AM.

Chair: Martin-Edward Ohajunwa, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Sussie Okoro, Howard University
Oghenetoja Okoh, University of Akron
Samuel Fury Childs Daly, Duke University
Martin-Edward Ohajunwa, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Lawrence Okwuosa, University of Nigeria

2016 NSA Book Award

Every year, the Nigerian Studies Association give an award to the best academic book published in the previous calendar year.

The Nigerian Studies Association is pleased to announce that its 2016 book prize has been awarded to Associate Professor Saheed Aderinto of the Department of History, Western Carolina University, for a book entitled When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900–1958 [Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2015]. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Aderinto. His book may be accessed here.

From the publisher’s site:

Examining the intersection of sex work and the imperial project in British Nigeria.

British colonizers saw prostitution as a distinctively African form of sexual primitivity and as a problem to be solved as part of the “civilizing mission” they used to morally justify imperialism. Saheed Aderinto details the Nigerian response to imported sexuality laws and the contradictory ways both British and African reformers advocated for prohibition or regulation of prostitution. Tracing the tensions within diverse groups of colonizers and the colonized to highlight their concerns, he reveals how wrangling over prostitution camouflaged the negotiating of separate issues that threatened the social, political, and sexual ideologies of Africans and Europeans alike.

The first book-length project on sexuality in early twentieth century Nigeria, When Sex Threatened the State combines the study of a colonial demimonde with an urban history of Lagos and a look at government policy to provide a cutting-edge reappraisal of the history of Nigerian public life


NSA@ ASA 2016


Please plan to join the Nigerian Studies Association (NSA)

@ the 59th Annual Conference of the African Studies Association

Washington, DC December 1 – 3, 2016

Featured NSA Events (Friday, December 2, 2016)

NSA Sponsored Roundtable I                           

Friday, December 2, 2016                                                    8:30am

“The Glocalization of Nigeria Pop Culture”                  V-L-2

Chair:                  Abosede George, Bernard University, New York

Panelists:           Rita Offiaeli, University of Connecticut

Michael Aondo-Verr Kombol, Benue State Univ., Nigeria

Ijeoma Okoronkwo, Independent Scholar

Patience Bentu, Swansea University, United Kingdom

Safiya Akau, Independent Scholar


NSA Sponsored Roundtable II                         

Friday, December 2, 2016                                                                 2:00pm

“Leadership and War against Corruption in Nigeria”           VII-H-6

Chair:                  Olayiwola Abegunrin, University of Maryland

Panelists:           Sabella Abidde, Alabama State University

Matthew T. Page, US Department of State

Sulayman Nyang, Howard University

Debra LaPrevotte, Independent Scholar


ASA Business Meeting                                                    9:30pm            (Wilson B)

Kindly check final ASA Conference Program for locations!

Recent Publications


Olayiwola Abegunrin and Sabella O. Abidde, editors, Pan-Africanism in Modern Times: Challenges, Concerns, and Constraints. Lexington Books, Lanham, MD: 2016               https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498535090/Pan-Africanism-in-Modern-Times-Challenges-Concerns-and-Constraints#



Picture of Expressions of Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Africa and its Diaspora
Karim Traore, Mobolanle Sotunsa, Akinloye Ojo, editors, Expressions of Indigenous and Local Knowledge in Africa and its Diaspora. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK: 2016







African Governance and Development Series (New CFPs)



Olayiwola Abegunrin, Series Editor

African Governance and Development Series identifies and elaborate on the strategic place of Governance and development within the African studies. Reflecting the fact that life in Africa continues to change; particularly in political, development, and socio-economic arenas; this series explores issues focusing on the ongoing mobilization for good governance and the search for sustainable and economic development. The African Governance and Development Series address gaps and larger needs in the developing scholarship on Africa and the African Diaspora. This series provides scholarly monographs and edited collections in the humanities, social science, and social scientific traditions. Contributors are encouraged to submit book length manuscripts that encompass, besides the above named topics, those focusing on: Africa’s political economy and economic development, Africa’s place in world trade development, democratization of African countries, the inclusion and representation of ethnic minorities, and the role of gender in Africa’s development. Works can be focused on a single African country, a region of African countries, or the African continent’s place as a global player.

Interested authors can send their book proposals to:
Prof. Olayiwola Abegunrin
Lexington Books
African Governance and Development, Series Editor
OR to:
Kathryn Tafelski, Assistant Editor
Political Science & African Studies
Lexington Books
4501 Forbes Boulevard,  Suite 200
Lanham, MD. 20706
Phone: 301459-3366 ext. 5303
Fax:     301-459-5749
Email: ktafelski@rowman.com

NSA in San Diego


@ 58th ASA Conference


Please plan to join the Nigerian Studies Association (NSA) at the

58th Annual Conference of the African Studies Association

San Diego, California

November 19 – 22, 2015


Featured NSA events

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19                                   2:00- 3:45PM

NSA SPONSORED ROUNDTABLE                          Session III-J-4

“Politics in Nigeria, Reflections of 2015 Elections”

 Chair:         Patience Bentu

University of Wales System- Swansea University


  • Matthew T. Page

Government of the United States of America-Dept. of State,

  • Olayiwola Abegunrin

Howard University, Washington, DC

  • Patience Bentu

University of Wales System- Swansea University


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20                                       7:30 – 8:30PM



Kindly check final ASA Conference Program for locations!