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Call for Applications: Writing Workshop on Rethinking development in Nigeria


Call for Applications

The organisers of the Ibadan 2020 Writing Workshop, supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund of the British Academy, are pleased to invite applications for participation in a fully-funded Writing Workshop programme that will be taking place at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) from 22 – 24 July 2020. The University of Ibadan is a pioneer institution in the fields of African history and humanities.

The theme of the programme is Rethinking Development in Nigeria: Economic History, Ideas, Policies.  Over the course of three days (22-24 July 2020), sixteen (16) early career researchers (current PhD students, or scholars who have completed their PhDs not earlier than 31 July 2018) based in Nigerian universities will present their papers, receive feedback and develop productive interactions and meaningful relationships with a team of 13 distinguished senior researchers and journal editors from Africa, Europe and the Americas.

The workshop will comprise three types of sessions, devoted respectively to presentations by early career researchers; improving writing, publication strategies and communication of research; scholarships, research funding and career opportunities in a variety of institutional contexts (UK, USA, France and Germany). On top of the networking opportunities provided by the overall context of the workshop, there will be specific sessions in which the participants are encouraged to have informal one-on-one conversations with the editors, and discuss the feedback received on their papers and their career strategies.

Motivations and goals

The production and circulation of academic knowledge about Africa is characterised by deep-rooted unevenness and asymmetries. A combination of logistic, financial and epistemic factors has led to the persistence of the hegemonic dominance of universities, policy institutions and think-tanks in the ‘Global North’. This, in turn, perpetuates the marginalization of scholars based in Africa. The proposed workshop, therefore, aims to countervail this lamentable state of affairs by bringing to life an event that fully embodies the spirit of the Nairobi Report (British Academy and Association of Commonwealth Universities, 2009), with its emphasis on collaborative approaches, mentoring early career researchers in writing and publishing, equal partnerships, and the creation of ‘communities of excellence’.

The workshop has four main goals:

  • ·Promote the career and research development of young scholars based in Nigerian universities;
  • ·Create a context of exchange and networking that can easily result in new partnerships and equal collaborations between scholars and journal editors based in the Global North and the Global South;
  • ·Place young Nigerian scholars at the centre of the ‘renaissance of African economic history’ (Austin and Broadberry 2014), and make them key actors in the construction and institutionalisation of the history of African economic thought as a field of study represented in major international journals;
  • ·Stimulate a conversation across Nigerian institutions on the role of historical approaches in addressing the development challenges identified in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The event will support a new generation of Nigerian scholars in claiming their rightful place at the centre of the debate on Africa’s economic past.


We encourage applicants to submit papers providing historical perspectives on the contemporary concerns reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ( ). These include, but are not limited to, work that offers sophisticated historical analyses of the following issues in the Nigerian context:

  • ·Poverty and inequality (concepts, experiences, measurement)
  • ·Hunger
  • ·Agriculture and industry
  • ·Labour
  • ·Gender inequalities in economic and social life
  • ·The relationship between economic and political ideas and policy choices
  • ·Indigenous economic institutions and cultures
  • ·Policy design, implementation and performance
  • ·Taxation, finance and credit
  • ·Trade
  • ·Demographic change
  • ·History of economic thought
  • ·The politics of economic and social statistics  

We are looking for papers that fall within the field of economic history, broadly conceived. In particular, we are looking for economic history papers that can establish a productive conversation with political, social, cultural and intellectual history or with anthropology, and which display methodological awareness. We are also keen to encourage the development of the history of Nigerian and African economic thought, from precolonial times to the present.

Application Procedure

The selection will take place on a competitive basis in three stages. All intended applicants are required to send as a single file a title and an extended abstract of up to 2,000 words (complete with contact details and institutional affiliation), one letter of recommendation from their Head of Department or any other senior scholar (Supervisor, If a PhD student), and a curriculum vitae by the 21st  MARCH 2020. For those who have already completed their PhDs, the letter of recommendation should state clearly the date of PhD completion. 

The 2,000 words (excluding bibliography) extended abstracts should contain the following:

  • ·Awareness of existing historiography on the chosen topic
  • ·A clear and consistent argument  
  • ·A specific sense of how the proposed article contributes to the literature on the chosen topic
  • ·An explicit discussion of methods and sources used

The authors of the best extended abstracts will be required to submit a full paper (between 8,000 and 12,000 words) by the 10TH MAY 2020.

Please note that only sixteen papers will be selected among those submitted, and their authors invited to the workshop. The authors of the selected papers will be notified by 31st MAY 2020.   

Send applications to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline: 21st of March, 2020




Prof. Olutayo C. Adesina                                                                    Dr. Gerardo Serra

Department of History                                                                        Department of History

University of Ibadan, Nigeria                                                             University of Manchester,U.K.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                               Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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