Second Annual J.A. Atanda Lecture Held at the University of Chicago

On the evening of Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, a group of students, faculty, and other distinguished guests came together at the University of Chicago’s International House for the Second Annual J.A. Atanda Memorial Lecture. Professor Toyin Falola, PhD, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at the University of Texas, Austin, delivered a lecture on “Indirect Rule and the Elasticity of Politics and Power.” Professor Falola drew on the work of Joseph Atanda, the namesake of the lecture, to explain the role of indirect rule on the political realities in Africa and especially in Nigeria today. Because culture and politics are so intertwined, Falola posited, the political influence of indirect rule had effects that resonated in both the cultural and the political arena. He concluded by commenting that indirect rule created a “mythology” about Nigeria’s past that continues to affect the politics of the nation even today.