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.

British Academy Book Prize

Now in its 10th year, the £25,000 Prize is awarded annually for a non-fiction book that has made an outstanding contribution to global cultural understanding for a wider public audience. The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for humanities and social sciences, and eligible books come from the subjects that fall within those disciplines, from archaeology, history and psychology to philosophy, languages and cultural studies.

Nominations for the 2022 British Academy Book Prize will bring together books that demonstrate rigorous original and high-quality research, which are accessible and engaging to read. The Book Prize judges will select a shortlist of up to six books to be announced in September. The winner of the 2022 prize will be announced in October. The 2022 nomination deadline has now passed.

The 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding winner's event

Professor Sujit Sivasundaram, winner of the 2021 Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding discusses his book "Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire" with Professor Patrick Wright FBA.

Key dates 2022

Opening of the 2022 Prize for nominations 31 January
Event with Sujit Sivasundaram to mark the opening of the cycle 1 February
Closing of nomination period 31 March
Shortlist announcement 6 September
Shortlist event October (date tbc)
Winner announcement 26 October

Winner announcement for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding

Jury Chair, Professor Patrick Wright FBA, announces the 2021 winner of the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.

The 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding shortlist event

Meet the authors shortlisted for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding at this special event organised in partnership with the London Review Bookshop.

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

Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery, 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

Coverage of the prize

Learn more about the winning author, Sujit Sivasundaram and his prize-winning book, Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire.

In this interview with The World Today (Chatham House) prize-winning author, Sujit Sivasundaram, talks to Mariana Vieira about the stories behind today’s culture wars and environmental crisis.

Read an extract on Literary Hub from the 2021 British Academy Book Prize winner, Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire by Sujit Sivasundaram.

Watch this inspiring interview with Sujit Sivasundaram, winner of the ninth British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, in conversation with Tharusha Kumarasinghe for Newsfirst Sri Lanka.

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 British Academy Book Prize, formally known as the Nayef Al Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, was launched in 2013 in partnership with Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan with the aim of establishing a significant force in global publishing and prizegiving. Since then, the prize has recognised a distinguished array of shortlisted authors and eventual winners. Their work explores many different aspects of global cultural understanding and combines original academic enquiry with engaging story-telling to reach the broadest possible public audience.

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