The 2018 Penny Schwartz student travel awardee is Halimat Titilola Somotan. Halimat will present a paper at this year's conference: "The Transformation of Lagos and Contestations Over Belonging, 1946- 1955"
Date/Time: IX-L-3 New Path in Colonial and Postcolonial Lagos History (Lagos Studies Association) 12/01/2018 - 8:30 AM
Halimat Titilola Somotan is a doctoral candidate in African History at Columbia University. Her interests include urban history, print culture, and medical history. She is working on a dissertation titled “In the Wider Interests of Nigeria as a Whole:” Lagos and the Making of Federal Nigeria, 1941-76” that explores the re-planning of Lagos as the political center of Nigeria from the late colonial period to the post-independent era. Her project demonstrates that the processes of remaking the space and status of the capital shaped how Nigerians defined the meanings of belonging to the city, and the emerging nation. This research highlights how land-owners, tenants, photographers, novelists, musicians as well as federal and local politicians contested the spatial and political transitions of Lagos.
Somotan is a past recipient of the Council on Library and Information Resources/Mellon Dissertation Research Fellowship in Original Sources. In 2017, she received an American Historical Association/Mellon Career Diversity Grant to create a digital archive on the cultural, social, and political history of Lagos. She is currently a Pre-Doctoral Residential Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.
She obtained her masters and MPhil degrees in history from Columbia University and received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Theatre Arts from Fairfield University. Born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria, Somotan enjoys traveling, visiting museums, reading fiction, and listening to juju music.