Charles Tripp Chairs the British Academy’s £25,000 Book Prize Jury

In News by Porter Anderson

The British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding will name its winner in October. Publishers are submitting now.

Jurors in the 2023 British Academy Book Prize are, upper row from left, jury chair Charles Tripp; Fatima Manji; and Gary Younge. On the lower row are Rebecca Earle and Madawi Al-Rasheed

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

Deadline for Submissions: February 28
Announced today (January 16), the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding has named a new chair of its 2023 jury: Charles Tripp is a professor emeritus of politics with the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, the British Academy’s honor and its £25,000 purse (US$30,564) last year on October 26 went to the Chilean author Alia Trabucco Zerán for When Women Kill: Four Crimes Retold, a book translated by Sophie Hughes and published by the British independent house And Other Stories.

Zerán was scheduled to appear today in an online talk with juror Fatima Manji, and you can register for access to this and its recording here.

Now in its 11th year and formerly known by its original benefactor whose name it bore as the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, this major nonfiction award is a standout among the myriad “golden stickers” in the United Kingdom for its search 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.”

Saving everyone a longlist stage—and its demands on limited news-media resources and the nerves of nominated authors—this prize wisely has its jury select only a shortlist of up to six books, which are to be named in September. A winner’s announcement follows in October.

The submissions period has opened today for publishers, to run through February 28.  To be eligible for entry, books must be works of nonfiction published in English in the United Kingdom between April 1, 2022, and March 31 of this year.

“The jury,” according to organizers, “will be looking for books that are rigorous and evidence-based, that demonstrate original research, and are likely to significantly advance public understanding and debate.”

Authors may be of any nationality, based anywhere in the world and working in any language, provided that the nominated work is available in the English language.

In addition to publishers, nominations can be made by fellows of the British Academy, and by open call.

The 2023 British Academy Book Prize Jury

Charles Tripp, this year’s chair, served as professor of politics with the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London from 2007 to 2018. He has worked with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and at Geneva’s Graduate Institute for International Studies.

Tripp’s research has mainly focused on political developments in the Middle East and includes the nature of autocracy, war, and the state, as well as Islamic political thought, the politics of resistance, and the relationship between art and power. He’s reported to be working on a study of the emergence of the public and the rethinking of republican ideals in Tunisia.

His publications include:

  • Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • A History of Iraq (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • The Power and the People: Paths of Resistance in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Returning to the jury, Madawi Al-Rasheed is visiting professor at the London School of Economic’ Middle East Centre. Between 1994 and 2013, she was professor of anthropology of religion at King’s College London. She was also a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.

She is the author of Salmans Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia (2018) and The Son King: Reform and Repression in Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Joining the jury this year, Rebecca Earle is a writer and history professor at the University of Warwick. She’s a specialist on the cultural significance of food and eating in the modern era. The author of five books, she most recently published Feeding the People: The Politics of the Potato (Cambridge University Press, 2020), using the titular vegetable to trace some key features of modernity.

Fatima Manji, returning to the jury this year, is a broadcaster and journalist, recognized by some for her work on Channel 4 News in England, for which she covers both national and international news and issues.

Gary Younge is a professor of sociology at the University of Manchester, a former columnist at The Guardian, and a member of the editorial board of the Nation. His books:

  • Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives (Guardian Faber Publishing, 2016)
  • The Speech: The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream (Haymarket Books, 2013)
  • Who Are We? And Should it Matter in the 21st Century? (Penguin, 2011)
  • Stranger in a Strange Land: Travels in the Disunited States (The New Press, 2006)
  • No Place Like Home: A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South (Picador, 1999)

A new book from Younge, Dispatches from the Diaspora: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter (Faber), is to be published in March.

Previous Winners of the Prize
  • Sujit Sujit Sivasundaram for Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire (2021)
  • Hazel V. Carby for Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands (2020)
  • Toby Green for A Fistful of Shells: West Africa From the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (2019)
  • Kapka Kassabova for Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (2018)
  • Timothy Garton Ash for Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World (2017)
  • Carole Hillenbrand for Islam: A New Historical Introduction (2016)
  • Neil MacGregor for A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation (2015)

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