Award received by Nancy Rose Hunt, 2014-2015 Paris IAS fellow, for her book A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo (Duke University Press, 2016)
About the Martin A. Klein Prize
The Martin A. Klein Prize in African History recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on African history published in English during the previous calendar year. The books must focus primarily on continental Africa (including those islands usually treated as countries of Africa). Eligibility will otherwise be defined quite broadly, to include books on any period of African history and from any disciplinary field that incorporates an historical perspective. In making its selection, the prize committee will pay particular attention to methodological innovation, conceptual originality and literary excellence. Works that reinterpret old themes or develop new theoretical perspectives are welcome.
The prize is named for Martin A. Klein, who is currently professor of history at the University of Toronto. Funding for the prize was completed thanks to a substantial donation from the late Dr. Mougo Nyaggah of California State University at Fullerton and his wife Dr. Lynette Nyaggah. Mougo Nyaggah was Klein’s first graduate student at the University of California Berkeley. Nyaggah credited the completion of his doctorate to Klein’s mentoring, guidance, enthusiasm, and commitment to the research and teaching of African history. He observed that, “There are many Martins who have or will mentor and inspire many Africanist students in American universities. Those mentors will be honored by this prize for their human and scholarly contribution.”
About the book
A Nervous State is an innovative, multidimensional history of Equateur during the first half of the 20th century. With an eye for pattern and detail, Hunt leads her reader through the worries that gnawed at people and state in this varied region. The book strolls through therapeutic insurgency, the carceral state, women’s health, medical practices, urban culture, and colonial flânerie—depicting in vivid terms a place troubled, engaged, and very much on the move.