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The British Academy's Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2019 launches at Zee Jaipur Literary Festival

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The Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2019, the British Academy’s prestigious non-fiction book prize, opens for submissions today, Monday 28 January.

The opening of the 2019 prize cycle is marked by a celebratory event at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival where Kapka Kassabova – winner of the 2018 prize, for Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe – will be in conversation with The Economist’s South Asia Bureau Chief, Max Rodenbeck.

The £25,000 Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution to global cultural understanding that illuminates the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide.

To be eligible for entry, books must be works of non-fiction published in English between 1 March 2018 and 31 March 2019. The jury will be looking for books that are rigorous and evidence-based, that demonstrate original research and are likely to significantly advance public understanding and debate. Authors may be of any nationality, based anywhere in the world and working in any language provided that the nominated work is available in the English language.  

The deadline for submissions is 1 April 2019.

The Prize was founded and is generously sponsored by the neuroscientist and International Relations scholar Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan. It was first awarded in 2013.

The 2019 jury is Chaired by Professor Ash Amin CBE FBA, the Foreign Secretary of the British Academy. He is joined by:

  • Professor Rana Mitter FBA, historian and political scientist;
  • Dame Henrietta Moore DBE FBA, social anthropologist;
  • Professor Patrick Wright FBA, writer and broadcaster
  • Madeleine Bunting, writer.

Sir David Cannadine FBA, President of the British Academy, comments:

“The Academy exists to help us get to grips with the great issues of the day that the humanities and social sciences can help to address, whether political, cultural or spiritual. I am delighted that this year’s prize will be launched at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, which marks such an important collaboration across countries, religions and cultures in a fantastic celebration of literature. The Festival speaks directly to the values of this important prize, which itself is awarded to a non-fiction book that contributes to wider public understanding of cultures, peoples and geographies.”

Jury Chair, Professor Ash Amin CBE FBA added:

“2018 saw a record number of entries for the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize, from all over the world. We heard from publishers in the UK, USA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and Asia. As the prize continues to grow, we are looking forward to receiving and considering the books that will inspire readers to develop a deeper understanding of questions of global cultural commonality and difference.”

A shortlist of up to six books will be announced in September 2019 and the winner will be announced at a ceremony held at the British Academy on 30 October.

Submit your entry online.

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