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.
Winner announcement for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding – 26 October at 5:00pm BST
Tune in to hear the judges talking about the shortlist and find out which book will be awarded this year’s Book Prize – watch the announcement on this page.
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|
|Shortlist online event||13 October|
|Winner announcement||26 October|
The British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding shortlist event
Extracts from the 2021 shortlist
"Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire" by Professor Sujit Sivasundaram
Professor Sujit Sivasundaram explores how indigenous Asian regimes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries actively responded to and withstood European colonial advances.
"Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape" by Cal Flyn
Author and journalist Cal Flyn interrogates our "self-appointed role as steward of the planet".
"Neither Settler Nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities" by Professor Mahmood Mamdani FBA
In this extract from "Neither Settler Nor Native", Professor Mahmood Mamdani FBA explores the impact of colonialism on Sudan.
Channel 4 News broadcaster and journalist
Philippe Sands QC FRSL
Lawyer, academic and writer, University College London and Matrix Chambers
Coverage of the prize
Listen to this year’s four shortlisted authors in conversation with Professor Rana Mitter FBA on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking.
Chair of the Book Prize jury, Patrick Wright FBA, discusses the 2021 shortlist with Sophie Roell, Editor of Five Books.
Join literary blogger, Eric Karl Anderson, the Lonesome Reader, as he explores the non-fiction shortlist for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize.
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.