African Studies Association

The African Studies Association (ASA) is an association of scholars and professionals in the United States and Canada with an interest in the continent of Africa. Started in 1957, the ASA is the leading organization of African Studies in North America. The associations headquarters are Rutgers University in New Jersey. The ASA holds annual conferences

As a result of racial and political disputes over exclusion from leadership positions of black academics and ASA leaders' ties with the US intelligence and military, the ASA split in 1968, when the Black Caucus of the ASA, led by John Henrik Clarke, founded the African Heritage Studies Association (AHSA).[1][2]

Awards given by ASAEdit

Herskovits AwardEdit

The Herskovits Award is given annually for the best scholarly work (including translations) on Africa published in English in the previous year and distributed in the United States. The award is named after Melville Herskovits, one of the founders of the ASA.

Distinguished Africanist AwardEdit

Beginning in 1984, the association has awarded the Distinguished Africanist Award.[3] In 2000, 2001, 2010 and 2011 two awards were given. Winners include:

Bethwell Ogot Book PrizeEdit

The Bethwell A. Ogot Book Prize of the African Studies Association is awarded annually at the ASA Annual Meeting to the author of the best book on East African Studies published in the previous calendar year. Initiated in 2012, the award was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Professor Kennell Jackson, the award honors the eminent historian, Professor Bethwell A. Ogot.

Winners of this award are:

  • 2012 Andrew Ivaska, Cultured States: Youth, Gender, and Modern Style in 1960s Dar es Salaam (Duke University Press)
  • 2013 James R. Brennan, Taifa: Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania (Ohio University Press)
  • 2014 Shane Doyle, Before HIV: Sexuality, Fertility and Mortality in East Africa 1900-1980 (British Academy Press)
  • 2015 J.J. Carney, Rwanda Before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era (Oxford University Press)

Presidents of ASAEdit

Presidents of the ASA are elected annually by the membership. They include:[5]


Publications include an annual journal: History in Africa: A Journal of Method, and African Studies Review. The Association publishes a quarterly newsletter ASA News for its members, and runs a blog.

African Heritage Studies AssociationEdit

The African Heritage Studies Association is (or was) an offshoot of the African Studies Association, and was founded in 1968 by the ASA's Black Caucus and led by John Henrik Clarke.[1][8][9]


  1. ^ a b Eric Kofi Acree. "John Henrik Clarke: Historian, Scholar, and Teacher". Africana Library, Cornell University. Archived from the original on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  2. ^ Wiley, David (2013). "Militarizing Africa and African Studies and the U.S. Africanist Response". African Studies Review. 55 (02): 147–161. doi:10.1353/arw.2012.0041. ISSN 0002-0206.
  3. ^ "Distinguished Africanist Award 2009" African Studies Association Archived 2009-07-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The award to Senghor was not without controversy. Bensaid, Alexandra and Whitehead, Andrew (1995) "Literature: Award to Senghor Triggers Debate" IPS-Inter Press Service, 18 April 1995, accessed via the commercial service Lexis/Nexis, 30 December 2008
  5. ^ ASA, Presidents of the African Studies Association Archived August 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Elected ex-officio.
  7. ^ Died before taking office.
  8. ^ Diamond, Sara (2001). "African Heritage Studies Association". In Nina Mjagkij (ed.). Organizing Black America: an encyclopedia of African American associations. Taylor & Francis. pp. 16–17. ISBN 0-8153-2309-3. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  9. ^ Martin, William G.; West, Michael Oliver (1999). Out of one, many Africas: reconstructing the study and meaning of Africa. University of Illinois Press. pp. 99–106. ISBN 0-252-06780-0. Retrieved 2009-06-27.

External linksEdit