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African Music Section (AfMS) Kwabena Nketia Book Prize
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Purpose: To recognize the most distinguished book or monograph on the topic of African and African diasporan music, published over the previous four years.

Eligibility: The African Music Section welcomes a broad scope of books on musical performance or implications for music scholarship based on the African continent or the global African diaspora. Books on the African Diaspora should have depth of research on African music and practices. Edited volumes are not eligible. Reprints or new editions of books are not eligible unless substantially revised from the original. Authors need not be members of SEM or the African Music Section of SEM. Relevant audio and visual recordings or films may also be considered. 

Prize: $200

Regularity: Awarded bi-annually, in even years, to a book published in the previous four years (e.g. the 2018 prize will be given to a book published in 2016-2017).

Administration: The Prize Committee will consist of three readers, including two acknowledged senior scholars, who are members of good standing in the African Music Section and SEM. The decision will be announced at the Section Meeting during the SEM Annual Meeting.

Application Process: Applicants should send three (3) copies of the book to the Prize Committee listed above. Books may be nominated by individuals, including self-nomination by authors, and by publishing houses and presses. The Prize Committee may also nominate books. No book may be submitted more than once for consideration.

Application Deadline: Books must be received  by June 15, 2018. 

Submission Information: Send 3 copies of books to:

Nketia Book Prize Committee

℅ Timothy Mangin, PhD

Music Department, Lyons Hall

Boston College

140 Commonwealth Ave

Chestnut Hill, MA 02467




Chikowero, Mhoze: African Music, Power and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe, Indiana University Press.  2015

Eyre, Banning: Lion Songs: Thomas Mapfumo and the Music that made Zimbabwe, Duke University Press Books. 2015


Kidula, Jean.Music in Kenyan Christianity: Logooli Religious Song. Indiana University Press. 2013.

(Honorable Mention) Jaji, Tsitsi Ella.Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music, and Pan African Solidarity. Oxford University Press. 2014.

(Honorable Mention) Omojola, Bode.Yorùbá Music in the Twentieth Century:Identity, Agency, and Performance Practice. Rochester University Press. 2012.


Gunderson, Frank. "We Never Sleep We Dream of Farming”: Sukuma Labor Songs from Western Tanzania. Brill Academic Press, 2010.


DjeDje, Jacqueline Cogdell. Fiddling in West Africa: Touching the Spirit in Fulbe, Hausa, and Dagbamba Cultures. Indiana University Press, 2008. 

(Honorable Mention) Burns, James. Female Voices from an Ewe Dance-drumming Community in Ghana, Our Music Has Become a Divine Spirit. Ashgate Publishing, SOAS Musicology Series, 2009.         



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