British Academy Review 14
A Humanist's Conversation with the 20th Century (Isaiah Berlin, 1909-1997)
On 6 June 2009, Wolfson College, Oxford held a day of celebrations to mark the centenary of the birth of Isaiah Berlin, the eminent philosopher who had played such an important part in its foundation. As part of the occasion, Dr James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, delivered the …
Towards Polarised Differentiation: Changing Configurations of European Integration
The last few weeks have witnessed the final steps in the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, which aims to smooth the workings of the European Union project. A year ago, the British Academy sponsored a research workshop at Cardiff University on ‘differentiated’ integration in Europe – that is, integration in …
Reassessing the seventies: the benighted decade
On 23 September 2009, the British Academy hosted a workshop to take a fresh look at the 1970s – a watershed in post-war British history. It was followed in the evening by a public panel discussion, chaired by Professor Laurie Taylor (presenter of Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’). Dr Lawrence Black …
Explaining the Fall of European Communism in 1989
On 15–16 October 2009, the British Academy held a symposium on ‘The Collapse of Communism in Europe: A Re-examination Twenty Years After’. The convenor, Professor Archie Brown FBA, here offers his own reflections.
Scientific Approaches to the Study of Roman Ports
Professor Simon Keay explains the latest work being done to study the ports of the Roman Empire – in particular the massive site of Portus, the port of ancient Rome itself.
Darwinism, Creative Evolution, and Popular Narratives of 'Life's Splendid Drama'
2009 has been the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’. On 29-30 June, the British Academy, the Royal Society, and the American Philosophical Society held a joint conference in Cambridge to celebrate. One of the participants, Professor Peter …
Celebrating excellence (BAR 14)
In September and October 2009, the British Academy held ceremonies to honour individual scholars for the excellence of their work in the humanities and social sciences.
Ancient Ethiopian Churches in Historical Perspective
Professor David W. Phillipson FBA has published a comprehensive account of Ethiopian Christian civilisation and its churches between the 4th and the 14th centuries, offering a fresh view of the processes that gave rise to this unique African culture. He describes the different styles and affinities of these striking religious …
The Marriage of Philology and Informatics
As part of the British Academy Literature Week in October 2009, Sir Brian Vickers FBA discussed ‘The Authors of King Edward III’, in conversation with Professor Laurie Macguire. Here he describes how information technology can be harnessed to the literary study of authorship attribution.
Islam, Trade and Politics across the Indian Ocean
In 2008, the British Academy adopted a three-year collaborative project to look at how Southeast Asia had long been connected to the wider world across the Indian Ocean – in particular, to the Middle East through the faith of Islam. Dr İsmail Hakkı Kadı, Dr Annabel Teh Gallop and Dr …
The Global Financial Crisis - Why Didn’t Anybody Notice?
On 17 June 2009, a group of leading academics, economics journalists, politicians, civil servants, and other practitioners met at the British Academy for a round-table discussion of the current financial crisis. The question under discussion in this British Academy Forum had been framed by Her Majesty The Queen on a …
New Greek Texts From Oxyrhynchus
In June 2009, the British Academy hosted a workshop to discuss some of the exciting new texts pieced together by the Oxyrhynchus Papyri project – followed in the evening by a public presentation. Professor Peter Parsons FBA describes how these fragmentary documents give a unique insight into Greco-Roman civilisation.