Audrey Richards Best Thesis Prize Winners
Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
Liberated Africans and Law in the South Atlantic, c. 1839-1871″
This is a well-researched thesis, which demanded research activities in archives in several countries. It deals with a complex subject in an area of challenges and controversies and it is well written and the author has added immensely to various contested issues on the Atlantic slave trade as well as that of East African trade. For a Phd thesis this has been a wide-ranging, in depth project and Richards is commended for his rigour and commitment in producing a thesis which well deserves the mention and award given.
The Open University
”In Search of the Nigerian Pastoral: Nollywood and the Nigerian Creative-Industrial System”,
In reading this dissertation, one is impressed with the ensemble of different disciplines which the candidate has garnered to bring Nollywood to the world of the academy, particularly as so little has been written in comparison to the topics of other candidates. It is a well-crafted thesis, which draws the reader’s attention to seemingly obvious points, but which a less informed researcher would have missed, including the influence of Igbo built environment.
Newnham College, University of Cambridge
‘An Economy of (Dis)Affection: Women-Headed Households, Cash Transfers and Matrilineal Relations in Kenya’s South Coast
This is a well written thesis, in which Muinde charts a clear course in her award-winning dissertation. She really gets into the life of her research subjects and explores their lives in relation to the contemporary economics of coastal Kenya. Her exploration of the “mradi” system and its effects on the female headed households with whom she lives with and observes is detailed and makes sense of an outwardly basic economic support system. This is an inspired piece of research which gives unexpected and deep insights into the challenges of economic survival and liveilhoods of communities in Kenyan coastal communities.