Dr. Samaila Suleiman is a lecturer in History at Bayero University, Kano. He received his PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2015. Samaila is a recipient of many prestigious fellowships — he is a two-time SSRC Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Dissertation Fellow; Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) Fellow at Brown University USA; Postdoctoral Fellow, African Humanities Program (AHP) of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS); 2018 Presidential Fellow, African Studies Association/American Council of Learned Societies (ASA/ACLS); and Summer Program in Social Science Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, USA. He has also received a Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC) Fellowship at the University of Witswatersrand. His research lies at the intersection of historiography, nationalism, identity politics, and conflicts.
Dr. Suleiman’s recent publications include, “Ethnic Minorities and the Dynamics of Heritage Politics in Nigeria” in Unpacking Heritage: Things don’t really exist until you give them a name (Dar es Salaam: Mkuki wa Nyota, 2018), and “The Nigerian History Machine” in Theories of History: History Read Across the Humanities (London: Blomsbury, 2018).
This project is conceived on the premise that historical writing and the production of historical knowledge is a basic social and political practice. The fragmentation of nations following the crisis of post-colonial nationhood has ushered in a new trend towards competing alternative historical discourses among local communities. This partisan version of historiography has been aptly described recently, in a rather implicit term, as a genre of "the third wave of historical scholarship on Nigeria. But whether the surge in historical writing on Middle Belt communities represents an example of the third wave of historical scholarship on Nigeria or a new direction in historical thinking, methodology and theory is an interesting research question that remains unexplored. Students of historiography are rarely bothered about the processes of power relations and institutional practices involved in the production of history. This project is a study of how the Middle Belt counter-historical discourse is produced against the grain.