Awards: British Academy Prize Names Jurors, Opens Submissions

In News by Porter Anderson

The 2021 jury for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Understanding returns in the 2022 cycle, seeking works that  ‘public understanding of world cultures.’

At the British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, Westminster. Image: British Academy

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Submissions Deadline: March 31
As so many international publishing and book awards programs are doing at this time of year, the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding has opened its submissions period for its 2022 cycle, with a deadline of March 31. Nominations are welcomed from publishers, fellows of the academy, and by open call.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, this is the prize formerly known by its original benefactor whose name it bore as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. The £25,000 prize (US$34,040), since the conclusion of the Al-Rodhan sponsorship, is operated by the British Academy, and continues—now in its 10th year—to look for books “that contribute to public understanding of world cultures, to illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide, and to foster increased positive inter-cultural relations.”

In observance of the program’s first decade, the academy is organizing activities that are expected to include talks around the global themes of the prize. One advantage of this should be a chance to reconnect with some of the program’s past winners and shortlistees, particularly during a “Summer Showcase” in Central London. Also planned are events to facilitate conversations between key representatives of publishing and academia, along with the publication of new writing that draws from those involved in the prize over the last 10 years.

This program dispenses with a longlist announcement and offers a shortlist, expected from its jury this year on September 6. The winner of the prize is to be named on October 25, two days after the conclusion of this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 19 to 23).

You can find our coverage of the prize after its name-change in 2021 here, and prior to the name-change here.

British Academy Book Prize 2022 Jury

Jurors working this year with chair Patrick Wright on the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize are, from left, Philippe Sands, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Catherine Hall, and, from the 2020 jury, Fatima Manji

If this year’s jurists seem to be ringing a bell for you, it’s because they were last year’s jurists, too.

Patrick Wright

Patrick Wright, emeritus professor of literature and history at King’s College London will again this year chair the jury.

In a prepared statement, Wright is quoted, saying, “In the relatively short history of the prize, the British Academy has rewarded some fascinating books, each telling us something new about the world and the way that our cultures interconnect.

“In this 10th year, we’re looking forward to reconnecting with the exceptional scholars and talented writers that the prize has rewarded, and also reading and discussing the latest books that enable us to better understand the complexities of the world in which we live.”

Wright is joined this year on the panel again this year by:

  • Philippe Sands of University College London and the firm Matrix Chambers. Sands won the Baillie Gifford Prize in 2016 for East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (Penguin Random House / Vintage)
  • Madawi Al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. She’s an author and editor of several books on Saudi Arabia and is a regular contributor of content to various news and information media
  • Catherine Hall, professor emerita of modern British social and cultural history and chair of the Centre for the Study of British Slave Ownership in the department of history, University College London. She’s a leading social and cultural historian known for her work on gender, class, race, and empire in the 19th century
  • Fatima Manji, and English television journalist who reportedly became the first hijab-wearing news reader in the United Kingdom in 2016

Last year’s winner of the prize was Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire by historian Sujit Sivasundaram (William Collins). Our coverage of that is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book award programs is here, and more from us on the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize is here. More on the British Academy Book Prize in its renamed iteration is here.

And more on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.