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Dr. Toyin Falola receives Africana Studies Distinguished Global Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Toyin Falola received the inaugural Africana Studies Distinguished Global Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) on Oct. 31, 2009.

Posted: November 6, 2009
Dr. C. Bantz, IUPUI Chancellor; Dr. T. Falola, 2009 Africana Studies Distinguished Global Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award recipient; Chief Dr. Mrs. B. House Soremekun, Conf. Convener & MC

Dr. C. Bantz, IUPUI Chancellor; Dr. T. Falola, 2009 Africana Studies Distinguished Global Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award recipient; Chief Dr. Mrs. B. House Soremekun, Conf. Convener & MC

He is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor of History and distinguished teaching professor at The University of Texas at Austin.

Chancellor Charles Bantz of IUPUI presented the prestigious award at the dinner for the 1st Public Scholars in Africana Studies International Conference on Globalization. Chief Dr. Mrs. Bessie House Soremekun was the conference convener and also presented a certificate of appprecation to Falola for presenting the keynote speech at the conference that drew over 570 attendees.

The theme of the conference was “Rethinking Economic Development in the Context of Globalization: Entrepreneurship, the Knowledge Economy, and Sustainable Development.” Such dignitaries as His Royal Majesty, Oba (King) Michael Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV, Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland attended. Falola presented the keynote speech titled “Africana in the Margins: The Past and Future of Globalization.”

For the selection of the winner of the award, “We sent out a call for nominations to solicit recommendation letters for scholars and we set the bar very high this year looking for a very special scholar who exemplified special types of characteristics,” Soremekun said.

“We wanted to recognize a scholar who has developed a stellar global reputation because of the significant impacts his/her scholarship has had on the global academy and who has used his/her platform unselfishly to elevate others, particularly students, professional colleagues, and members of the public at large,” she added.

She explained the importance that was placed on the award going to a scholar who was the “quintessential ‘scholar’s scholar’”. A subcommittee was setup to receive nomination letters and accompanying documentation. They received many stellar nominations. In fact, the selection process necessitated the creation of an evaluation grid and categories.

PHOTO CAPTION: Chief Dr. Soremekun presents certificate of appreciation to Dr. Falola for presenting keynote speech at conference.

Their criteria was specifically "to recognize a scholar whose research has had transformative effects on the various global epistemological debates which have preoccupied scholars in his/her disciplinary area of focus through the years and provided a platform for the development of an ongoing critical discourse with regard to the continuing relevancy of understanding and respecting African people, cultures, and ideologies, both in the past and contemporary time periods," Soremekun said. In the end, the committee unanimously selected Falola.

“We are delighted that a scholar with such impeccable credentials is the inaugural recipient of this award. It is particularly fitting that Dr. Falola receives this award at this time, because this is the year that he has achieved his goal of publishing more than 100 books,” she said.

In his scholarly work, Falola integrates the interconnectedness between political, economic, social, religious, and cultural phenomenon and steps outside of the disciplinary boundaries of history to examine these issues at the highest level of analysis. He is a global scholar who serves on the editorial boards of more than 20 journals.

Falola regularly grants interviews to the press, writes opinion pieces, and serves as an international consultant with governmental and non-governmental organizations. He continues to disseminate his scholarship to the world community and created the USA/Africa Dialogue listserv in 2004, which has more than 50,000 subscribers today. At 35, he was a full professor.

Falola is the Nelson Mandela Professor of African Studies at Large, the Ibn Khaldun Distinguished Research Professor, a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, and a Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Monmouth University. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees with honors from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Nigeria.

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