The 2019 Barbara Harlow Prize for Excellence in Graduate Research

Abikal Borah's picture
Type: 
Prize
Date: 
April 14, 2019
Location: 
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Graduate Studies, Humanities

 

 

The 2019 Barbara Harlow Prize for Excellence in Graduate Research

 

 

The 2019 Barbara Harlow Prize for Excellence in Graduate Research was announced during the 19th Annual Africa Conference held at the University of Texas at Austin. Like previous years, we received exceptionally high-quality essays from different parts of the world. The three-member jury (Professors Mia Carter, Neville Hoad, and Brian Doherty of the University of Texas Austin) chose Mary Owusu’s “Cosmopolitan Nationalism on the Gold Coast 1887-1920” as this year’s winner. Mary is currently a graduate student in the Department of History at Dalhousie University (Canada).  

 

The jury cited that: “Owusu’s essay conducts a historical analysis of the early 20th century West African intellectuals and elites (“merchant princes”) and their pragmatic and self-interested attempts at liberal colonial reform. The essay’s examination of the West African intellectuals’ dialogical encounters with British and French African travelers, administrators, and journalists, Edmund Morel, and the West African lawyers, clergymen, and journalists’ John Mensah Sarbah, Attoh Ahuma, and Reverend Carl Christian Reindorf, etc., highlights a complicated example of cosmopolitanism—an example of Appiah’s “intelligent engagement with difference.” What is noteworthy about the history that Owusu examines is that this particular example of colonized subjects’ religious, administrative, and mercantile investments reveals the ways in which an historiography that highlights and primarily champions/celebrates the history of anticolonial nationalism elides some of the paradoxes of the colonial encounter and processes of colonial reform. It’s not an heroic story of Third World nationalism, but it is one that might help us to better understand the intersecting interests of colonized elites and colonizing reforms, as well as the contradictions of liberalism, governance, and government.”

 

We would like to congratulate Mary Owusu on her wonderful achievement.     

 

Abikal Borah

Conference Coordinator

19th Annual Africa Conference

The University of Texas at Austin

Contact Info: 

Abikal Borah 

Department of History 

The University of Texas at Austin

Contact Email: