Scholars across seven countries recognised by the British Academy for outstanding contributions to SHAPE research

5 Sep 2023

The British Academy has awarded its annual selection of prizes and medals to a number of distinguished academics in the SHAPE disciplines in recognition of significant contributions to their areas of study.

This year’s winners include outstanding archaeologists, linguists, political scientists and classicists from all over the world including the UK, China, Sweden and Israel whose accomplishments have made a deep and lasting impact on the humanities and social sciences and helped shaped understanding of our world.

The 2023 awards are:

  • the Brian Barry Prize in Political Science, in partnership with Cambridge University Press and the British Journal of Political Science (BJPolS), to Professor Göran Duus-Otterstrom (Professor of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and the Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm), for his essay Emmissions Sufficientarianism
  • the Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies to Professor Sara Japhet (Yehezquel Kaufmann Professor Emerita of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) for her pioneering contribution to the study of post-exilic Hebrew literature, particularly the books of Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah
  • the Derek Allen Prize to Professor Joe Cribb (Adjunct Professor of Numismatics at Hebei Normal University, China) for his work which has greatly improved understanding of the history of Afghanistan and adjacent regions in the early centuries CE
  • the Edward Ullendorf Medal to Professor Mauro Tosco (Professor of African Linguistics at the University of Turin), in recognition of his position as one of the leading researchers in the field of the Cushitic languages of Ethiopia and the surrounding regions, many of which are now endangered
  • the Grahame Clark Medal to Dr Ann Woodward (Retired Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham) for her lifetime of groundbreaking work in field archaeology
  • the Kenyon Medal for work in the fields of classical studies and archaeology to Dr Susan Walker FSA (Honorary Curator of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) for her pioneering new approaches to classical art and archology and instrumental role in forging strong bonds between the museum and university sector
  • the Landscape Archaeology Medal to Professor Carenza Lewis (Professor for the Public Understanding of Research in the Lincoln School of Humanities and Heritage at the University of Lincoln) for her outstanding work popularising archaeology in the UK
  • the Neil and Saras Smith Medal for a lifetime of achievement in the field of linguistics to Professor Eva Hajicova (Professor of Linguistics at Charles University, Prague) for her work in theoretical, computational and corpus linguistics, with a focus on semantics and discourse structure
  • the Peter Townsend Prize to Professor Lydia Morris (Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex) for her book The Moral Economy of Welfare and Migration (McGill-Queens University Press, 2021) and Professor Fiona Williams FBA (Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Leeds) for her book Social Policy – A Critical and Intersectional Analysis (Polity Press, 2021)
  • the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize to Dr Noémie Ndiaye (Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Associate Professor of Renaissance and Early Modern English Literature at the University of Chicago) for her book Scripts of Blackness: Early Modern Performance Culture and the Making of Race (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022) and Professor Clare Pettitt (Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at King’s College London) for her book Serial Forms: The Unfinished Project of Modernity, 1815-1848 (Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • the Serena Medal to Dr Bonnie Blackburn FBA (independent scholar) in recognition of her outstanding scholarship on Renaissance music with a particular focus on Italy.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said:

"I offer my warmest congratulations to this year’s winners who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, whether through individual achievement or lifelong service to their disciplines. Though the Academy is a UK national body, we champion excellence in the humanities and social sciences wherever it is found. These prizes and medals are testament to the global impact and relevance of our disciplines as well as the winners’ immense contributions to their respective academic fields and to advancing public understanding of the SHAPE disciplines.”

Professor Fiona Williams FBA, winner of the Peter Townsend Prize, said:

“It’s a huge and unexpected honour to receive this prize. Peter Townsend was a towering figure in social policy and a campaigner for social justice for those marginalised and excluded by poverty and inequality. His critiques of post-war governments’ complacency to these issues were formative in my own learning and activism.”

Professor Eva Hajicova, recipient of the Neil and Saras Smith Medal, said:

“It is a great honour and privilege to be awarded the 2023 Neil and Saras Smith Medal for lifetime achievement in the study of linguistics. It is made even more special by the fact that previous recipients of the Medal – such as Professor Noam Chomsky FBA and Professor Barbara Hall Partee - introduced me to the field of study. I owe deep gratitude to my professors, both my senior and younger colleagues, and my gifted students, whose guidance and support has been invaluable throughout my professional life.”

The Academy will award each prize and medal to the recipients at a ceremony at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace on Wednesday 11 October. The British Academy President’s Medal, which recognises outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences, will be announced later this year.

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For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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