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

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

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

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.

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