A.C. 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.


Papers must be nominated and submitted to the African Studies Program by a UW-Madison faculty member. Current graduate students from any academic department are eligible to receive the award. Nominated papers must meet the following criteria:

  1. The paper must be authored by a current UW-Madison graduate student. Students who intend to graduate in Summer 2023 or later are eligible.
  2. Most submissions are seminar papers, but any kind of paper on Africa in any field is eligible. Master’s theses, stand-alone chapters of a Ph.D. dissertation, and qualifying exams are eligible.
  3. Published or soon-to-be-published papers will be considered.
  4. Papers should be no longer that 30 pages double-spaced or 7,500 words.
  5. Papers must be submitted in English.

Award Details

Prize winners receive $1000. The winner of the Jordan Prize is invited to present 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.

Nomination Deadline

Applications for the 2023 awards are due Monday, May 15, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST

Nominate a Paper

To nominate a paper, please upload the following documents as a single PDF to this website. You will need to login using your Wisc NetID and password.

  1. Your nominating cover letter
  2. The paper

About Archibald C. Jordan

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 ye Minyanya (The Wrath of the Ancestors), published in 1940, later translated by the author into English. Other works include Toward an African Literature.

List of Jordan Prize winners

Photos of Jordan Prize winners

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