Elections to the British Academy celebrate the diversity of UK research

21 Jul 2017

Sixty-six of the world’s leading minds were announced as Fellows of the British Academy today, Friday 21 July.

Fellows of the British Academy represent the very best of humanities and social sciences research, in the UK and globally. This year’s new Fellows are experts in subjects ranging from feminist theory to the economic development of Africa; medieval history to Indian philosophy and face perception.

The British Academy’s newest cohort of Fellows also reflects the growing diversity of research in the UK.

The proportion of women elected to the Fellowship has doubled in the last five years. This year, 38% of the new Fellows are women, exceeding the 24% share of female Professors in UK universities, according to HESA data. 

The 42 UK Fellows of the British Academy also span a wide geographic range, elected from 23 institutions. Twenty overseas scholars, known as Corresponding Fellows, were elected from universities in Uganda, the US, France, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.

Today also marks the start of Professor Sir David Cannadine’s four-year term as President of the British Academy, as he takes over from Lord (Nicholas) Stern of Brentford, who has held the post since 2013. 

Lord Stern, outgoing President of the British Academy, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as President of the British Academy for the past four years. During that time, I have sought to champion the value of our disciplines, of questioning and examining what it means to be human, above all by fostering outstanding research, showing what we do and engaging in public discussion.

“Now more than ever, we need research, scholarship and evidence from the humanities and social sciences to inform our understanding and decision-making on the most pressing challenges of our time, from identity and democracy, to sustainable development and overcoming poverty, and managing climate change.

“The UK’s research and innovation sector is one of our nation’s greatest assets, and its diversity and openness is a strength that makes us a world-leader in research. This year’s cohort of leading Fellows is a strong illustration. Our Academy is doing increasingly well at bringing the humanities and social sciences where they should be, at the centre of public life and discussion. I leave the Academy knowing that there is much more to come, and I wish David the very best as he takes over the Presidency.”

New President of the British Academy, Professor Sir David Cannadine said: “As I take on the role of the thirtieth President of the British Academy, I am aware that I am the latest in a long line of succession, dating back to the Academy’s foundation in 1902.

“Then as now, the times in which we live present us with many challenges. Yet we also have great opportunities to engage with them.

“At a time when institutions are distrusted and derided, and expertise is mocked and scorned, the British Academy stands for truth, reason, evidence-based learning, intellectual distinction, academic expertise, and quality and power of mind. In a world where parochialism, nativism, nationalism, xenophobia and populism seem in too many places to be on the march, it is our job to provide light and learning and hope.

“This is by no means an easy task, but I am looking forward to it, and eager to be getting on with it.”

(Full text of Presidential Address by Lord Stern; full text of Address by President-elect Professor Sir David Cannadine.)

New Fellows of the British Academy, 2017

UK Fellows

Professor Franklin Allen, Professor of Finance and Economics and Director, Brevan Howard Centre, Imperial College London
Research area: Financial economics; corporate finance, asset pricing, financial innovation, comparative financial systems, financial crises, and financial regulation.

Professor John Armour, Hogan Lovells Professor of Law and Finance, University of Oxford
Research area: Law’s role in facilitating and regulating business activity: integrating legal and economic analysis in the domestic and comparative study of company law, corporate governance, financial regulation and insolvency.

Professor Alison Bashford, Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Jesus College, Cambridge
Research area: Modern world history; 19th and 20th century environmental history; population and historical thought.

Professor Dauvit Broun FRSE, Professor of Scottish History, University of Glasgow
Research area: Medieval Scottish history.

Professor Michael Burton, Professor of Psychology, University of York
Research area: Cognitive psychology; face perception; interactions between computational, experimental and applied problems in psychology.

Professor Mark Casson, Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for Institutions and Economic History, University of Reading
Research area: Economics of business: theories of entrepreneurship and international business, with historical applications to medieval towns and industries, Victorian railways and twentieth-century multinational firms.

Professor Sir Paul Collier CBE, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Director, International Growth Centre
Research area: The economic development of Africa; the causes of state fragility and implications for public policy; the management of natural resources; the management of urbanization.

Professor Mary Daly, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Oxford; Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford
Research area: Comparative welfare state studies; social policies and gender inequality; theorisation and measurement of contemporary poverty; family policies within a comparative perspective; social care in contemporary states and societies; European Union social policy.

Professor Douglas Davies, Professor in the Study of Religion, and Director of the Centre for Death and Life Studies, Durham University
Research area: The anthropology and sociology of ritual, symbolism, belief, and emotions. Mormonism; mortality, and funerary practices of burial and cremation. The theology of death. The relationship between anthropology and theology.

Professor Paulo de Moraes Farias, Honorary Professor, Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham
Research area: West African history: oral traditions, chronicles, and medieval Arabic inscriptions; the interaction of Islamic and other cultural heritages in the region.

Professor Gillian Douglas, Executive Dean and Professor of Law, The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London
Research area: The relationship between family law and social change; legal recognition of family ties, the consequences of relationship breakdown, and experiences of the family justice system.

Professor Christian Dustmann, Professor of Economics, and Founding Director CReAM (Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration), University College London
Research area: Labour economics (inequality, wage structures, minimum wages; peer effects); the economics of migration; the economics of education; the economics of crime; population economics.

Professor Jaś Elsner, Professor of Late Antique Art, University of Oxford; Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Research area: Greek, Roman, early Christian and Byzantine art and archaeology; the reception of material culture in texts, museums and collecting; art and text; art and religion; the history of art history.

Professor Gary Gerstle, Paul Mellon Professor of American History, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Research area: Political thought, institutions, and conflict in 19th and 20th century US; immigration, race, and nationhood in America from founding to present.

Professor John Gowlett, Professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Liverpool
Research area: The evolution of early human advanced capabilities; origins and development of design form and proportion in artefacts; investigation of early hominin fire use and its effects.

Professor Emily Grundy, Professor of Demography, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Health and well-being at older ages; family and household change; life course influences on health; intergenerational exchanges; demography of ageing.

Professor Sara Hobolt, Sutherland Chair in European Institutions, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Political science; electoral behaviour; public opinion; European Union politics.

Professor Jennifer Hornsby, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London; Co-Director
Research area: Philosophy of mind, action and language; feminism in philosophy.

Professor Charles Hulme, Professor of Psychology and Education, University of Oxford; William Golding Senior Research Fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford
Research area: Cognitive and developmental psychology; reading, language and memory processes; developmental cognitive disorders; children’s reading and language difficulties; randomised controlled trials in education.

Professor Peter Jackson, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield
Research area: Contemporary social and cultural geography; agri-food studies; moral economies and consumer practice.

Professor Julian Johnson, Regius Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London
Research area: Music history and aesthetics, 1800 to the present; modernity and modernism; Mahler, Debussy, Second Viennese School; music and philosophy.

Professor Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics, University of York
Research area: Sociolinguistics; English, Norwegian; language and migration; new dialects; multicultural youth language; language and social structure; sociolinguistics of West Africa; language, media and public dissemination

Professor Melissa Leach CBE, Director, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex
Research area: Anthropology, geography; global development and social change; issues of inequality, gender, environmental sustainability, health and infectious disease in Africa and beyond; interfaces between social science, science and policy.

Professor Richard Ned Lebow, Professor of International Political Theory, King’s College London; Bye-Fellow, Pembroke College, Cambridge
Research area: The cultural and psychological foundations of political behaviour and its analysis.

Professor Adam Ledgeway, Professor of Italian and Romance Linguistics and Chair of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Downing College, Cambridge
Research area: The comparative history and morphosyntax of the Romance languages; Italian and Romance dialectology; Latin; Italo-Greek; syntactic theory, linguistic change and language contact.

Professor MM McCabe, Professor of Ancient Philosophy Emerita, King’s College London; Keeling Scholar in Residence, University College London; Bye-Fellow, Newnham College, Cambridge
Research area: Philosophy: Ancient philosophy especially Plato’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics; ethics; the philosophy of medicine.

Professor Angela McRobbie FRSA, Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths University of London
Research area: Sociology of culture, young women and mass media, feminist theory, gender and popular culture, British fashion industry, creative economy, fashion start-ups and micro-enterprises in the urban environment.

Professor Charles Mitchell, Professor of Law, University College London
Research area: English private law, particularly the law of unjust enrichment and trusts law.

Professor Tariq Modood MBE, Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy, and Director, Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol
Research area: Theory and politics of multiculturalism, secularism, Islamophobia, racial equality; sociology of ethnic minorities in higher education and employment; with special reference to Muslims in Western Europe.

Professor Lynne Murray, Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Reading
Research area: The functional architecture of early parent-infant relationships; their role in child development in clinical contexts and conditions of adversity; the development of parenting interventions to prevent adverse child outcome.

Professor Francesca Orsini, Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature, SOAS, University of London
Research area: Literatures of South Asia; multilingual and located approach to world literature; book history in South Asia.

Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy, Lancaster University
Research area: Indian philosophy focusing on Sanskrit and Pali, comparative philosophy of epistemology, metaphysics and phenomenology; classical Indian religions, especially Hindu theology in Sanskrit and Tamil, and comparative Hindu-Christian studies.

Professor Nicholas Roe, Professor of English Literature, University of St Andrews
Research area: All periods of English Literature, particularly Romantic literature and culture; William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Leigh Hunt and John Keats; biography of the Romantics; literature and medicine.

Professor Eugene Rogan, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Oxford; Director, Middle East Centre; Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford
Research area: The modern history of the Middle East and North Africa from the late Ottoman era to the present day.

Professor Ulinka Rublack, Professor of Early Modern European History, University of Cambridge; Fellow, St John’s College, Cambridge
Research area: Cultural, social and religious history of the early modern world, comparative work on Protestantism and on material culture, with a focus on Germany.

Professor Barbara Sahakian FMedSci, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, Department of Psychiatry and MRC/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge
Research area: Neuropsychology, neuropsychiatry, psychopharmacology, neuroimaging and neuroethics. Focusing on cognition, motivation and their interaction in neurological and psychiatric disorders and brain injury. Special interest in engaging the public in science and the impact of neuroscience on society. Policy as applied to brain health and mental wellbeing.

Professor Andreas Schönle, Professor of Russian, Queen Mary University of London
Research area: Eighteenth and nineteenth-century Russian literature and culture; the design, organization, and meanings of time and space in Russia; the Europeanization of the Russian elite and its transnational practices.

Professor Catriona Seth, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature, University of Oxford; Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford
Research area: French literature (especially novels and poetry); the long 18th century in France; cultural history of Enlightenment Europe; memoirs and autobiography.

Professor Sir Hew Strachan FRSE, Professor of International Relations, University of St Andrews; Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford; Life Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Research area: European military history of the 19th and 20th centuries, and especially the First World War; modern strategic studies.

Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education and Director of Research, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Research area: Economics of education; inequality in education and labour market outcomes, educational efficiency, school and teacher effectiveness, social mobility.

Dr Teresa Webber, University Reader in Palaeography, University of Cambridge; Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge
Research area: The palaeography of western medieval manuscripts and documents; the history of medieval books, book-collections and libraries.

Professor Gregory Woolf, Director, Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study; Professor of Classics, University of London
Research area: Ancient economies, societies, civilizations. The archaeology and history of the Roman Empire and its neighbours at the very large scale.


Corresponding Fellows

Professor John Agnew, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Italian, University of California, Los Angeles
Research area: Political geography; place and politics, territory, politics and governance, critical geopolitics; geopolitics of the world economy.

Professor Susanne Baer, Justice, Federal Constitutional Court of Germany; Professor of Law and Gender Studies, Humboldt University; William W Cook Global Law Professor, University of Michigan
Research area: Comparative constitutionalism, fundamental rights, interdisciplinary studies of law, gender studies, critical and feminist legal theory

Professor Dr Dr h.c. Eszter Bánffy, Director, Romano-Germanic Commission, German Archaeological Institute
Research area: The archaeology, bioarchaeology and geoarchaeology of Neolithic Europe, research into historic landscapes and cultural heritage preservation.

Professor Caroline Walker Bynum, Professor Emerita of Medieval European History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; University Professor Emerita, Columbia University
Research area: The religious and social history of northern Europe during the Middle Ages; comparative work on devotional objects and reappraisal of the significance of materiality in medieval art.

Professor William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Research area: Environmental history and historical geography, focusing principally on human interactions with the landscapes and ecosystems of North America.

Professor Marie-Luce Demonet, Emeritus Professor of French literature (Renaissance), Senior Fellow, Institut Universitaire de France, Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance, University François-Rabelais, Tours
Research area: Renaissance French literature; early modern linguistic theory, semiotics; early modern fictionality, arts of discourse, mind theory (possible worlds, counterfactuals); rhetoric of orality, writing and printing; digital scholarly editions.

Professor Georges Didi-Huberman, Directeur d’Études à l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris)
Research area: History and theory of art, anthropology of images and imagination, Renaissance to the contemporary era.

Professor Peter Hall, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, Harvard University
Research area: The comparative political economy of the developed democracies; the study of European politics and public policy-making; comparative institutional analysis and problems of social inequality.

Professor Rebecca Henderson, John and Natty McArthur University Professor, Harvard University; Co-Director, Business & Environment Initiative, Harvard Business School
Research area: Corporate Strategy; innovation in firms and economies; technological change; organizational and economic inertia in large organizations; organizational economics; sustainability; corporate governance; purpose driven firms.

Professor Nancy Kanwisher, Walter A Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Investigator, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research area: The functional organization of the human brain, as a window into the architecture of the mind, studied with functional MRI and other methods of cognitive neuroscience.

Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University; Professor and Executive Director, Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University
Research area: Colonialism and post-colonialism; civil wars and extreme violence in Africa; political violence and political justice; decolonization of the university and higher education; war on terror.

Professor Jay McClelland, Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, and Director, Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation, Stanford University
Research area: Neural network models of human learning, memory and development in linguistic, semantic and mathematical cognition; complementary learning systems in the brain and the effects of brain damage on cognition.

Professor Kenneth Pomeranz, University Professor in History and the College, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago  
Research area: Late imperial and modern Chinese history, emphasising social, economic and environmental change; comparative political economy in early modern and modern times; empires and their contemporary legacies; world history.

Professor James Poterba, Mitsui Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; President, National Bureau of Economic Research
Research area: The economics of taxation and government spending, with a particular focus on policies that affect retirement security and capital formation.

Professor Dr Claudia Rapp, Professor of Byzantine Studies, University of Vienna
Research area: Cultural, religious and social history of Late Antiquity and Byzantium.

Professor Ineke Sluiter, Academy Professor, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW); Professor of Greek, Leiden University
Research area: Classics, in particular: ancient and medieval ideas on language; the use of value terms in public debate; cognitive approaches to Greek literature; innovation processes in antiquity, in particular their ‘anchoring’.

Professor Dr Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Professor of Early Modern History, Historical Institute, University of Münster
Research area: Cultural and political history of Early Modern Europe, particularly the Holy Roman Empire.

Professor Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School
Research area: Administrative law, constitutional law, regulation, and behavioural science as it informs law and policy.

Professor Agnès van Zanten, Senior CNRS Research Professor, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Research area: Sociology of education; educational inequality; elite education; parental educational strategies; school choice; school segregation; access to higher education; educational policy; comparative and ethnographic research.

Professor Manfred Woidich, Emeritus Professor of Arabic Language and Linguistics, University of Amsterdam
Research area: The descriptive dialectology, dialect geography of the Arabic language; historical linguistics of Arabic, in particular syntactic and semantic issues in Egyptian dialects.Teaching Arabic as a foreign language, colloquial first.

Honorary Fellows

Dame Antonia Byatt DBE, CBE, FRSL, novelist

Mrs Graça Machel Hon DBE, Chancellor of the University of Cape Town; President of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London; Founder and Chair, The Graça Machel Trust

Mr George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management; Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations 

Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL, Playwright and screen-writer; Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, St Catherine’s College, Oxford.


 1. 23.9% of Professors in the UK were women in 2015-16 (HESA data, 2015-16

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