Current Institutional Affiliation
History, Michigan State University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2017
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, Michigan State University
Gendering Law and Justice in Precolonial and Colonial Ogidi, Igboland, 1890-1960

In my proposed dissertation project, I will examine how the Igbo constructed female-centric indigenous law, how the British transformed it into male-centric colonial law, and how Igbo women accepted, negotiated, or challenged this transformation in Ogidi from 1890 to 1960. My area studies and training in historical methods and legal documentation have equipped me for critical archival research. My intensive training in Igbo language, equivalent of eight semesters by May 2017, enables me to participate in the conversational interchange necessary for oral history. I seek to revise the historical record by demonstrating the sophistication of indigenous Igbo law and the authority of females within it. I argue that during the colonial era, Igbo women in Ogidi made incremental but important gains in their personal lives by negotiating colonial law in the Native Courts.