Professor’s book wins American Historical Association prize

Judith Byfield, professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, won the Martin A. Klein Prize in African history from the American Historical Association (AHA) for her book, "The Great Upheaval: Women and Nation in Postwar Nigeria" (Ohio University Press, 2021). 

The book details the years immediately following World War II in Nigeria, where the women of Abeokuta staged a successful tax revolt that led to the formation first of the Abeokuta Women’s Union and then of Nigeria’s first national women’s organization, the Nigerian Women’s Union, in 1949. 

The Klein Prize 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 or islands treated as African countries. 

The American Historical Association promotes historical work and the importance of historical thinking in public life. Incorporated by Congress in 1889, its mission to enhance the work of historians also encompasses academic freedom, professional standards and ethics, innovative scholarship and teaching and international collaboration.

“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this prize. I feel like I did justice to the women and men who generously shared their stories and recollections of this important event with me,” Byfield said.

Jonathan Mong ‘25 is a communications assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

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