The Leeds University Centre for African Studies is delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 Lionel Cliffe Prize for the best undergraduate dissertation on a topic relevant to African Studies at the University of Leeds.
Yet again, our judges were delighted to review another cohort of outstanding dissertations, leaving them with a tough decision. After careful consideration, the 2020 prize has been awarded to Jessica Sache, for her dissertation entitled “ From Local Wood to Local Drink: Materiality in the work of El Anatsui and the effect of this on its placement within the global contemporary art market”, which was supervised by Dr Will Rea. The prize consists of £100 and the opportunity to publish an article on the basis of the dissertation in the Leeds African Studies Bulletin. Our judges wrote:
“This is a highly accomplished piece of work and a pleasure to read and learn from. We were particularly struck by the adventurous and multi-layered analysis. This itself, we note, entails a form of critical meshwork; one that interweaves and stages fruitful encounters between El Anatsui, his work, his audiences, his critics, and the realities of colonial and capitalist exploitation into which they are entangled. While we think there was an opportunity to be sharper or add a little more detail on the machinations of the international art market we agreed that this is an analytically rigorous and empirically rich dissertation well deserving of the Lionel Cliffe award. Outstanding work.“
Lionel R. Cliffe (1936–2013) was Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds, and a founding member of what became the Leeds University Centre for African Studies (LUCAS) and of the journal Review of African Political Economy. A prolific and internationally recognised scholar, his work focused on the struggle for land rights and freedom in Africa. In 2002, the African Studies Association of the UK marked his career with the Distinguished Africanist award.
Congratulations to Jessica on your fantastic dissertation. We look forward to sharing it in the Bulletin.