Audrey Richards prize for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies

Audrey Richards prize for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies

Dr Audrey Richards, CBE (1899–1984) was a pioneering British social anthropologist who worked mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, notably Zambia, South Africa and Uganda. She held lectureships and directorships at LSE, Witwatersrand, Makerere, and Cambridge. She was the Second President of ASAUK.


The Audrey Richards Prize is awarded biennially for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies which has been successfully examined in a British institution of higher education during the two calendar years immediately preceding the next ASAUK Conference.


The Audrey Richards prize is an early mark of esteem for graduate work and is accompanied by a certificate and an attractive package of book and journal vouchers generously provided by our publisher donors.


The cut-off is for any dissertation submitted between 1 January 20​20 and 31 December 2021​. Deadline for the submission of nominations will be 31 March 202​2​.


Nominations should consist of a short letter of nomination from the supervisor or external examiner, accompanied by the internal and external examiner’s reports. Please note when writing your nomination that it will assist the Audrey Richards Prize readers and evaluators if you can illustrate why the nominee deserves recognition. Your supporting statement should elaborate on why the nominee’s accomplishments are worthy of the award.


The recommendation for the award is made by a Committee headed by Dr Carli Coetzee, the Vice-President of ASAUK, and confirmed by the ASAUK Council. The prize will be presented at the Biennial Conference in September 2022.


Nominations should be emailed to Dr Carli Coetzee, Vice-President of ASAUK at (please include ‘Audrey Richards Prize’ in the subject line). The thesis should be emailed as a pdf document along with the examiners’ reports to


Please make sure you have checked all the following:


  1. No self-nomination, the nomination must come from a supervisor or examiner
  2. The thesis must have been completed at a UK university
  3. The thesis must have been successfully defended or awarded between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021
  4. Nominations should be accompanied by a letter of motivation written by the examiner or the supervisor.
  5. Thesis and supporting documents should be sent as pdf files, not word files.


Sarah O’Neill, Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London
Defying the Law, Negotiating Change. The Futanke’s Opposition to the National Ban on FGM in Senegal

The runners-up were:


George Karekwaivanane, Faculty of History, Oxford University
Legal Encounters: Law, State and Society in Zimbabwe, c. 1950-1990
Zoe Marks, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University
The Internal Dynamics of Rebel Groups. Politics of Material Viability and Organizational Capacity, RUF, Sierra Leone
Holly Porter, Department of Social Anthropology, LSE
After Rape: Justice and Social Harmony in Northern Uganda


WINNER: Fibian Lukalo, University of Cambridge
Educating Daughters, Educating Sons: Mothers and Schooling in Rural Kenya
RUNNER-UP: Zoe Groves, University of Keele
Malawians in Colonial Salisbury: a Social History of Migration in Central Africa, c.1920-1960
RUNNER-UP: Maxim Bolt, LSE
Rooting Production: Life and Labour on the Settler Farms of the Zimbabwean-South African Border


WINNER: Hassanali Sachedin, Oxford University
Wildlife is Our Oil: Conservation, Livelihoods and NGOs in the Tarangire Ecosystem, Tanzania


WINNER: Fraser McNeil, LSE
An Ethnographic Analysis of HIV/AIDS in the Venda Region of South Africa: Politics, Peer Education and Music
WINNER:Ruth Marshall, University of Oxford
The Politics of Pentecostalism in Nigeria, 1975-2000


WINNER: Dr Williams Oliver Norman, LSE
Living on the Frontline: Politics, Migration and Transfrontier Conversation in the Mozambican Villages of the Mozambique-South Africa Borderland
WINNER: Dr Samuel Cyuma, OCMS, Oxford
Conflict Reconciliation in South Africa (1990-1998) and its Significance for Mediating Role of the Church in Rwanda 1990-2003
RUNNER-UP: Dr Kate Meagher, Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford
Identity Economics: Informal Manufacturing and Social Networks in South-Eastern Nigeria


WINNER: Joost Fontein, Edinburgh
The silence of Great Zimbabwe: contested landscapes and the power of heritage
RUNNER-UP: Rebekah Lee, Oxford
Locating ‘Home’: strategies of settlement, identity-formation and social change among African women in Cape Town, 1948-2000
RUNNER-UP: Mattia Fumanti, Manchester
Youth, elites and distinction in a northern Namibian town


WINNER: Helen Tilley, Oxford
The African Research Survey and the British Colonial Empire: consolidating environmental, medical, and anthropological debates 1920-1940
RUNNER-UP: Monica Bungaro, Birmingham
New cartographies in recent African fiction: changing patterns in the representation of female characters
RUNNER-UP: Michael Taylor, Edinburgh
Life, land and power: contesting development in Northern Botswana


WINNER: Ruth Watson, Oxford
Chieftaincy politics and civic consciousness in Ibadan history, 1829-1939
RUNNER-UP: Annette Czekelius, SOAS
Artistry and effectiveness in language use: the evaluation of ways of speaking among the Berba of Benin
RUNNER-UP: Jessica Schafer, Oxford
Soldiers at peace: the post-war politics of demobilised soldiers in Mozambique, 1964-1996


WINNER: John Murton, Cambridge
Coping with more people: population growth, non-farm income and economic differentiation in Machakos District, Kenya
RUNNER-UP: Andrea Cornwall, SOAS
For money, children and peace: everyday struggles in changing times in Ado-Ado, Southwestern Nigeria
RUNNER-UP: Frederick Rohde, Edinburgh
Nature, cattle thieves and various other midnight robbers: images of people, place and landscape in Damaraland, Namibia


WINNER: David Maxwell, Oxford
A social and conceptual history of North-East Zimbabwe, 1890-1990
RUNNER-UP: John Parker, SOAS
Ga State and Society in early colonial Accra, 1860s-1920s
RUNNER-UP: Andrew Bank, Cambridge
Liberals and their enemies: racial ideology at the Cape of Good Hope, 1820-1850
RUNNER-UP: Paul Clough, Oxford
The economy and culture of the talakawa of Marmara [Nigeria].


WINNER: Caroline Orwin, SOAS
WINNER: Stephen Devereux, Oxford
Household responses to food insecurity in north eastern Ghana


Jacinta Muinde, University of Cambridge

‘An Economy of (Dis)Affection: Women-Headed Households, Cash Transfers and Matrilineal Relations in Kenya’s South Coast




Alexander Budd, The Open University

In Search of the Nigerian Pastoral Nollywood: and the Nigerian Creative Industrial System


Jake Christopher Richards, University of Cambridge

Liberated Africans and law in the South Atlantic c.1839 – 1871, Gonville and Cauis


Simukai Chigudu, University of Oxford

State of Emergency’: The Politics of Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak, 2008-2009 




Nicki Kindersley, Durham University 

‘The Fifth Column? The Political Organization of Southern Sudanese Migrants in Khartoum, 1969-2005 (April 2016)


Clara Devlieger, University of Cambridge

‘People Who Need Rights’? Disability and the Pursuit of Value in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo  (May 2017)


Jesse Zink, University of Cambridge
Christianity and Catastrophe: Sudan’s Civil Wars and Religious Change Among the Dinka

The runners-up were:


Maggie Dwyer, University of Edinburgh
Anticipating the Revolt: Trends in Military Mutinies in West and Central Africa, 1960-2012
Rebecca Jones, University of Birmingham
Writing Domestic Travel in Yoruba and English Print Culture, Southwestern Nigeria 1914-2014