Since its founding, the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) has facilitated contact among scholars, teachers, students, artists, museum specialists, collectors, and all others interested in the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora. ACASA promotes greater understanding of African material and expressive culture in its many forms, and collaboration with African and Diaspora artists and scholars. In 2004, the Roy Sieber Dissertation Award was established to honor the memory of Professor Roy Sieber who made a lasting contribution to the study of African art history through his research, writing, and mentoring of many Ph.D. students. This award recognizes an exceptional dissertation from any discipline, with a primary emphasis on African and/or African diaspora art history. The recipient is selected from a pool of candidates compiled over three years and the award is presented during the triennial conference of the organization. In the spirit of sustainability, past and future recipients are encouraged to act as contacts or mentors for future applicants.
The recipient of the Roy Sieber Dissertation Award will be offered:
- a $500 cash prize
- an opportunity to create a brief video, posted to the ACASA website, of the awardee speaking on the dissertation topic, as well as the challenges or advice for future applicants and PhD candidates
- an opportunity to work with an ACASA mentor to draft and submit a paper based on the dissertation submission for publication with African Arts
Primary Ph.D. advisors and current ACASA members are invited to nominate candidates for the Roy Sieber Dissertation Award. Dissertations submitted and defended between September 1, 2019 and August 30, 2023 can be submitted for consideration. Nominees must be ACASA members in good standing. Join ACASA. All submission materials must be received by the posted deadline to be considered.
All submissions should include the following materials:
- Full dissertation, including illustrations (as deposited with candidates’ institution)
- A cover letter of maximum two pages written by the applicant, addressing the contributions of the dissertation as related to assessment criteria below
- A detailed letter of support from the main advisor or nominating member, addressing the contributions of the dissertation as related to assessment criteria below
- Candidate’s current CV or resumé
This award submission is currently closed. It will open after the ACASA Triennial in June 2021.
Submissions should then be received by Friday, November 17, 2023. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
A dissertation committee, chaired by the previous recipient of the award and filled by ACASA members, will consider complete submissions using core criteria, including but not limited to:
- Writing (i.e. clarity, style, prose)
- Research content (for example. scope of archival work or fieldwork)
- Innovations (in theory, methodology, or other areas)
- Argument (i.e. originality, or impact on the field)
- Complete submission (see above, under Eligibility)
- Miscellaneous, or other exceptional scholarship worthy of consideration.
Constructive comments will be shared with all candidates at the end of the process, as may be helpful for revising the submission into a manuscript, or other publications.
Please contact the ACASA Secretary for questions or comments.
2021 Roy Sieber Dissertation Award Recipients
Kate Cowcher. Between Revolutionary Motherland and Death: Art and Visual Culture in Socialist Ethiopia, Stanford University, 2017.
Sandrine Colard. Photography in the Colonial Congo (1885-1960). Columbia University, 2016.
(honorable mention) Chika Chinyeogwa Chudi-Duru. Exploration of Akwete Weaves Motifs for Adaptation on Printed Textiles for Apparel Production. Ahmadu Bello University, 2017.