Best Published Scholarly Essays 2022

QASA is delighted to announce the winners of our essay prizes for this year! The QASA essay prizes reward critical interventions, exceptional writing, accomplished research, and expansions to the scope of the field, across disciplines. The prizes are aimed to highlight the work of new scholars—those without tenure—in order to support and diversify the field as a whole. QASA gives a prize for the best scholarly published essay by a junior scholar, and a prize for the best scholarly published essay by a graduate student. There were many wonderful essays published in 2022, and these were the winners:


Best essay by a junior scholar was co-won by two fantastic essays.

Serawit Debele won for “The Politics of ‘Queer Reading’ an Ethiopian Saint and Discovering Precolonial Queer Africans,” in the Journal of African Cultural Studies. This essay is an eloquent, nuanced, and forthright articulation of a key theoretical and political issue in our field. The essay will be open-access at the journal to celebrate this achievement.


Yara Ahmed won for ‘Labyrinthine Wanderings: Queering Mobility in Impossible Geographies' In Queer and Trans African Mobilities: Migration, Asylum and Diaspora, edited by B Camminga and John Marnell. This essay is an important documentation of queer life in contemporary Egypt, that re-conceptualizes mobility, and thinks creatively about enduring, evading, and dreaming beyond authoritarianism.


Honorable Mention for best essay by a junior scholar was won by Caio Simões de Araújo for “Along the Pink Corridor: Histories of Queer Mobility Between Maputo and Johannesburg (ca. 1900-2020),” also in Queer and trans African Mobilities: Migration, Asylum and Diaspora. This essay unfolds a fascinating history that complicates and enriches scholarly accounts of queer lives in the region, as well as prompting migration studies, South African studies, and studies of Mozambique to go beyond the conventional borders of their fields.


Best essay by a graduate student was won by Ntokozo Yingwana for “Queering Sex Work and Mobility” in Anti-Trafficking Review. This beautifully written and theoretically informed essay makes an important intervention in queer African studies and migration studies, using an innovative and generative methodology.


With work on Ethiopia, Mozambique, Egypt and South Africa, and a range of new ways of thinking about queer migration, these essays collectively open up some exciting new directions in the field.


Congratulations again to the winners, and thank you so much to all the selection committee members for their work!