British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding

The British Academy Book Prize, worth £25,000, is awarded annually for a non-fiction book that promotes global cultural understanding.

The British Academy’s £25,000 non-fiction book prize is awarded annually for a book that contributes to public understanding of world cultures. It is designed to illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide.

Nominations for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding are currently closed. Nominations will open again in January 2022.

Key dates 2021

Launch and opening of the 2021 Prize for nominations

19 January

Event with Hazel Carby to mark the opening of the cycle

26 January

Closing of nomination period

31 March

Shortlist announcement

7 September

Winner announcement

October (date tbc)

History of the prize

The Nayef Al Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding was created by the Academy in partnership with Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan with the aim of establishing it as a significant force in global publishing and prizegiving. Across the last eight years, these objectives have been most successfully accomplished, and there is now a high level of international awareness of the prize and a distinguished array of shortlisted authors and eventual winners. Their work explores many different aspects of global cultural understanding and combines the highest academic quality with a determined resolve to reach the broadest possible public audience.

Given the success of the prize and as we reach the end of the very generous period of seed-funding we received, Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan is keen to explore new opportunities with the Academy to develop other ventures for a similar effect for philosophy.

We will honour his generosity and foresight by continuing to award what will now be called the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding from 2021 onwards.

2020 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding: winner's event

Catch up on Hazel V. Carby, winner of the 2020 British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, discussing her book, 'Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands', in conversation with Claire Armitstead. Carby’s book is a haunting and evocative history of the British Empire, told through her own mixed-race family history.

The jury

Madawi Al-Rasheed FBA

Writer and academic, Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics

Catherine Hall FBA

Professor Emerita of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London

Fatima Manji

Channel 4 News broadcaster and journalist

Philippe Sands QC FRSL

Lawyer, academic and writer, University College London and Matrix Chambers

Patrick Wright FBA

Writer and broadcaster, Professor of Literature and Visual and Material Culture at King’s College London

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