LAGOS – Saheed Aderinto, a Nigerian-American Professor of History and African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University must have fought the fog to host the moon. 

History was made on February 28, 2023, as the Ibadan-born scholar emerged a winner of $300,000 Dan David 2023 Award, a laurel considered to be the “largest history prize in the world.” 

The award-winning author, who is also the founding president of the Lagos Studies Association and a senior research fellow of the French Institute for Research in Africa has to his credit, eight books, 36 journal articles and book chapters, 40 encyclopedia articles, and 20 book reviews. 

In certain publications, Aderinto’s scholarship on love, romantic passion, and emotions, was adjudged to stand at the crossroads of gender, race, social class, and power formation across time and space. 

The selection committee lauded Aderinto’s work for “situating African history at the cutting edge of diverse literatures in the histories of sexuality, nonhumans, and violence, noting that it is exceptional to see a single person leading scholarship in all of these fields.” 

Aderinto, the first and only Nigerian to be awarded the prestigious Dan David Prize, is the author of ‘When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900–1958 (University of Illinois Press, 2015), winner of the 2016 Nigerian Studies Association’s Book Award Prize for the “most important scholarly book/work on Nigeria published in English language.” 

The book examines “the intersection of sex work and the imperial project in British Nigeria.” 

Described as “The first comprehensive history of sexuality of colonial Nigeria,” it “combines the study of a colonial demimonde with an urban history of Lagos and a look at government policy to reappraise the history of Nigerian public life.”