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Sam Shepperson prize awarded at SPS Graduate School graduation

This year's prestigious Sam Shepperson prize goes to Annika Vosseler.

The 2015 Sam Shepperson prize has been awarded to Annika Vosseler. The prize is awarded to the best Masters dissertation in African Studies or Africa and International Development dealing with a historical topic. Annika’s dissertation, submitted as part of her M.Sc. in African Studies, is entitled "The Self and the Other: How the Lutheran missionary Carl Hoffmann represented Africa, 1894-1910". Annika was awarded 76%. 

The prize has been made possible by an external donation, and celebrates the role of Professor George ("Sam") Shepperson in promoting African Studies at Edinburgh. Annika received the award from Dr Luke March, Director (Taught) of the Graduate School of Social and Political Science. 

Annika’s dissertation uses drawings and sketches from Carl Hoffmann’s early diaries to examine his representation of Africa. Located in archives in Germany and South Africa, the documents that Annika investigates are relatively unexplored. 

One examiner described the dissertation as “a thoroughly absorbing piece of work, reflecting research that the author has clearly thought carefully about. Sharp focus to the argument, clearly written, sound insight, scholarly use of sources, excellent referencing.” 

Another examiner commented that, “[t]he candidate has identified an unstudied set of primary sources and offered a detailed, well-researched and compelling analysis of those sources…. While writing about a previously unstudied set of sources can pose particular challenges, I was impressed by the way in which the candidate deftly deployed comparative literature from elsewhere in the continent or case studies of other missionaries to bring out the richness of the sources.” 

Annika is currently writing a proposal to undertake doctoral research that continues to explore Hoffmann’s diaries. She would like to compare and contrast these with drawings and sketches from a British missionary’s diaries.

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