Nominations open for the Jordan Prize

Since 1969, the African Studies Program has awarded the A.C. Jordan Prize to a UW-Madison graduate student for the year’s best paper on Africa.

Nomination Procedures for the 2016 competition

To be considered for the prize, a paper must be nominated and submitted to the African Studies Program by a UW-Madison faculty member. If you have received or expect to receive an outstanding paper on Africa submitted by a graduate student during the 2015-16 academic year, consider nominating it for the Jordan Prize.

To be considered for the prize:

  • The paper must have satisfied a UW-Madison academic requirement (e.g., a course, seminar, or master’s thesis requirement) any time between May 15, 2015, and May 15, 2016.
  • Most submissions are seminar papers, but any kind of paper on Africa in any field is eligible. Master’s theses are eligible.
  • Ph.D. dissertations are not eligible.
  • Published or soon-to-be published papers will be considered as long as they were produced to satisfy an academic requirement between May 15, 2015, and May 15, 2016.
Philip Janzen
The 2013 A.C. Jordan Prize winner Philip Janzen with historian Jim Sweet following an AFRICA AT NOON lecture where Janzen presented on award-winning master’s thesis. Each year the African Studies Program invites the A.C. Jordan Prize winner to present on their research. Philip Janzen, graduate student in the Department of History was awarded the 2013 prize with this paper, “Caribbean Colonizers: Assimilation and Diasporic Imagination in the French Empire, 1880-1960.” (Photo by Catherine A. Reiland/UW-Madison)

Nominate a Paper
To nominate a paper, send the following electronic documents to Anita Makuluni, (

(1) your nominating cover letter
(2) the paper (or thesis)

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

The Winners
Prize winners receive $300. Winning papers will be published by the African Studies Program in our monograph series if the author wishes. The winner of the Jordan Prize is invited to present the winning paper in an Africa at Noon seminar. The names of Jordan Prize winners are inscribed on a plaque in our office. Past winners include Joseph Miller (1969), Catherine Newbury (1970), Tom Spear (1971), Michael Schatzberg (1972) and many other well-known figures in African studies.

About Archibald C. Jordan

Archibald C. Jordan (1906-1968) was a South African writer and teacher and one of the first faculty members in the UW-Madison’s Department of African Languages and Literature. The prize offered in his name was established immediately after his untimely death. A.C. Jordan earned his BA in English from the University College of Fort Hare in 1934 and his MA (1943) and Ph.D. (1957) from the University of Cape Town. He taught at the University of Cape Town from 1946 until 1962, when the ramifications of the events at Sharpeville forced him into exile at Wisconsin. His most famous work is Ingqumbo yeMinyanya (The Wrath of the Ancestors), published in 1940, later translated by the author into English. Other works include Toward an African Literature. His son Pallo Jordan serves as South Africa’s Minister of Arts and Culture.

List of Jordan Prize winners

Photos of Jordan Prize winners

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