Audrey Richards prize
for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies

Background: 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 institute of higher education during the two calendar years immediately preceding the next ASAUK Conference.

The prize is something which will enhance any graduate’s CV and is accompanied by a certificate and an attractive package of book and journal vouchers from the generosity of our publisher donors.

Nominations must be made by supervisors or examiners, with the permission of the candidate. Nominations should be accompanied by a supporting letter of up to 300 words, a copy of the thesis, and where possible a copy of the examiners’ report. The recommendation for the award will be made by the Vice-President of ASAUK, assisted in the review by ASAUK Council colleagues.

The winner of the 2014 Audrey Richards Prize  (Theses examined between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2013.)

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:
1) George Karekwaivanane, Faculty of History, Oxford University, Legal Encounters: Law, State and Society in Zimbabwe, c. 1950-1990
2) 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
3) Holly Porter, Department of Social Anthropology, LSE, After Rape: Justice and Social Harmony in Northern Uganda

Previous Winners


Winner Fibian Lukalo, University of Cambridge. Educating Daughters, Educating Sons: Mothers and Schooling in Rural Kenya.
Runner-up Zoe Groves, University of Keele: and Maxim Bolt, LSE: Rooting Production: Life and Labour on the Settler Farms of the Zimbabwean-South African Border 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


Winner Caroline Orwin, SOAS “Yodit”