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Two Nigerian professors selected for British Academy’s global award

Two Nigerian professors selected for British Academy’s global award
April 13
18:35 2024

Olutayo Adesina, professor of history at the University of Ibadan, and Abubakar Sani, former head of department at the archaeology and heritage studies at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), have been selected for the 2023 British academy global professorship.

Both lecturers were among the eight professors selected to undertake research on a range of issues, including food system models to resolve climate issues and exploration of West African communities’ history through museum collections.

Other selected scholars were Tetyana Antsupova, Paul Behrens, Sandrine Berges, Karine Chemla, Saloumeh Gholami and Ayelet Landau.

The professorship is a large investigator-led award to attract internationally recognised established scholars to work in the United Kingdom and to undertake cutting-edge research projects in diverse but relevant areas of interests.


Adesina, who doubles as president of the Society of Nigerian Archivists, would focus his research on the “interplay of nationalist historiography, academic social science, and vernacular knowledge as mutually constitutive social epistemologies.”

He would also investigate to what extent the work of academic historians and social scientists at the University of Ibadan was shaped by indigenous, vernacular epistemologies.

On his part, Sani, a deputy director at the ABU Zaria Institute for Development Research and Training, aims at a project that combines archaeology, museum practice and stakeholder engagement to study large and under-researched collections from key Nigerian sites.


He said the research would draw on archaeological, ethnographic and archival data held in British and Nigerian museums and hoped that it would bring “new understandings of African history, and of UK/Nigerian research histories, through academic outputs, online resources, exhibitions and outreach in the UK and Nigeria.”

According to the British academy, the awards are expected to run for four years and selected awardees will each be provided with £900,000 for the execution of their respective projects.

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