A professor of Drama and Critical Theory at the Department of Theatre Arts, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Ameh Dennis Akoh has been appointed the Chairman, Panel of Judges for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2023.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited was established in 2004 to bring authors to public attention and celebrate literary accomplishments in Nigeria. Since its inception, Nigerian writers at home and in the diaspora have competed passionately for the prize, which currently comes with a cash reward of USD100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Dollars).
The letter of appointment dated February 23, 2023, signed by the Ag. Manager, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs of Nigeria LNG, Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, conveyed the approval of the Advisory Board for the Nigeria Prize for Literature to appoint Prof. Akoh as the Chairman, Panel of Judges for the 2023 edition of Africa’s most prestigious prize for literary excellence.
It further noted that this year, the genre in focus is Drama, adding that by the letter, Prof. Akoh is appointed to work with other appointed eminent judges under the auspices of the Advisory Board to review all 2023 entries and select the winning entry. It also stressed the Advisory Board’s confidence that his contribution would impact this year’s competition positively and help to produce a worthy winner.
Prof. Akoh is a respected and consummate scholar with over 60 academic publications in local and international journals and books. His areas of research interests include critical theory, dramatic criticism, sociology of literature and theatre, gender, postcolonial and cultural studies.
He is a Fellow of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA0 and the Corporate Administration Institute of Nigeria (FCAI), as well as a 2013 Lifetime Achievement winner of SONTA. In 2014, he won the AHP postdoctoral fellowship of the American Council of Learned Societies. He was also a visiting postdoctoral Fellow at Rhodes University, South Africa in 2015. He is listed in The Year’s Work in English Studies (YWES) Index of Critics (Vol.88, Iss. 1, 2009, pp. 1279-1307).
Prof. Akoh has held many administrative positions in the Nigerian University system, chief among them was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State (2020-2022). He is married with children.
While congratulating him on the appointment, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom noted that it was well-deserved, adding that he is convinced that Akoh would bring his wealth of experience as a professor of drama and critical theory to bear in the discharge of the assignment. He therefore wished him and other judges well as they embark on the arduous task of selecting the best literary mind in Nigeria for 2023.