British Academy

British Academy

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The British Academy is the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

's national body for the humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

 and the social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.

It receives an annual grant from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform .-Ministers:The BIS...

 (BIS) and in 2010-11 had a gross income of £31,050,878 from BIS, including £26,447,813 from BIS. £25,380,379 was distributed during the year in research grants, awards and charitable activities.

The British Academy was established in 1902 and received its Royal Charter in the same year. It is now a fellowship of more than 900 leading scholars spanning all disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. The Academy is a self-governing and independent registered charity, based at 10-11 Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace refers to a street in the St. James's district of the City of Westminster in London, England, and in particular to two terraces of white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James's Park. These terraces were built in 1827–32 to overall designs by...

 in London.

It is not to be confused with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts
British Academy of Film and Television Arts
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is a charity in the United Kingdom that hosts annual awards shows for excellence in film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation.-Introduction:...

 or the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

.

Purposes


The Academy states its fundamental purposes under four headings:

• As a Fellowship composed of distinguished scholars, elected by their peers, it takes a lead in representing the humanities and social sciences, facilitating international collaboration, providing an independent and authoritative source of advice, and contributing to public policy and debate.

• As a learned society, it seeks to foster and promote the full range of work that makes up the humanities and social sciences, including inter- and multi-disciplinary work.

• As a funding body, it supports excellent ideas, individuals and intellectual resources in the humanities and social sciences, enables UK researchers to work with scholars and resources in other countries, sustains a British research presence in various parts of the world and helps attract overseas scholars to the UK.

• As a national forum for the humanities and social sciences, it supports a range of events, activities and publications (print and electronic) which aim to stimulate curiosity, to inspire and develop future generations of scholars, and to encourage appreciation of the social, economic and cultural value of these disciplines.

History


The creation of a “British Academy for the Promotion of Historical, Philosophical and Philological Studies” was first proposed in 1899 in order that Britain could be represented at meetings of European and American academies. The organisation, which has since become simply “the British Academy”, was initiated as an unincorporated society on 17 December 1901, and received its Royal Charter from King Edward VII on 8 August 1902.

Since then, many of Britain’s most distinguished scholars in the humanities and social sciences have been involved in the life of the Academy, including John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes
John Maynard Keynes, Baron Keynes of Tilton, CB FBA , was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, as well as the economic policies of governments...

, Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

, C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

 and Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

.

Until 1927-8 the Academy had no premises. Then it moved to some rooms in No. 6 Burlington Gardens. In 1968 it moved the short distance to Burlington House
Burlington House
Burlington House is a building on Piccadilly in London. It was originally a private Palladian mansion, and was expanded in the mid 19th century after being purchased by the British government...

. It subsequently moved to headquarters near Regent’s Park. Then in 1998 the Academy moved to its present headquarters in Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace refers to a street in the St. James's district of the City of Westminster in London, England, and in particular to two terraces of white stucco-faced houses on the south side of the street overlooking St. James's Park. These terraces were built in 1827–32 to overall designs by...

. One of London’s finest Georgian treasures overlooking St James’s Park, the Terrace was designed by John Nash
John Nash
John Nash may refer to:*John Nash , Anglo-Welsh architect*John Forbes Nash, Jr. , American mathematician, 1994 Nobel Economics laureate, subject of the book and film titled A Beautiful Mind...

 and built in the 1820s and 1830s. Number 10 was formerly the London residence of the Ridley family and number 11 was from 1856 to 1875 the home of Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 William Gladstone.

In March 2010, the Academy embarked on an ambitious £2.75m project to renovate and restore the public rooms in No. 11, following the departure of former tenant the Foreign Press Association, and link the two buildings together. The work was completed in January 2011 and the new spaces include a new 150-seat Wolfson Auditorium are available for public hire.

The history, problems and achievements of the Academy have been recorded in works by two of its Secretaries. Sir Frederic Kenyon’s slim but useful volume of 37 pages covers the years up to 1951; Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s characteristically incisive, amusing and informative volume covers the years 1949 to 1968.

Fellowship


Election as a Fellow of the British Academy recognises high scholarly distinction in some branch of the humanities or social sciences, evidenced by published work. Fellows may use the letters FBA after their names. Fellows are elected into one of the following disciplinary sections:

Humanities
Classical Antiquity
Theology and Religious Studies
African and Oriental Studies
Linguistics and Philology
Early Modern Languages and Literatures
Modern Languages, Literatures and other Media
Archaeology
Medieval Studies
Early Modern History to c1800
Modern History from c1800
History of Art and Music
Philosophy

Social Sciences
Law
Economics and Economic History
Anthropology and Geography
Sociology, Demography and Social Statistics
Political Studies: Political Theory, Government and International Relations
Psychology

Funding Schemes


The British Academy channels substantial public funding into support for individuals and organisations pursuing humanities and social sciences research and scholarship in the UK and overseas. These funding schemes are designed to aid scholars at different stages of their academic career and include Postdoctoral Fellowships, Wolfson Research Professorships, Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships and British Academy Research Projects.

In addition to its main public funds supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Academy also draws on private funds arising from gifts, legacies, contributions made by Fellows and grants from research foundations to support a further range of research activities. In 2009/10 more than 1,000 research awards worth over £17 million were made to individuals based in over 100 different universities across the UK, with a further £6.8m spent on international research.

International work


In order to promote the interests of UK research and learning around the world, the Academy works to create frameworks to support international networking and collaboration and develop the role of humanities and social sciences research in tackling global challenges. It draws on expertise from a wide range of sources from within the fellowship and on specialist advice from its seven Area Panels for Africa, China, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia, and Latin America/Caribbean.

The Academy also funds and coordinates a network of overseas institutes which provide local expertise, logistical support and often a working base for UK scholars. These include research institutes in Amman, Ankara, Athens, Jerusalem, Nairobi, Rome and Tehran, as well as UK-based specialist learned societies which run strategic research programmes in other parts of the world including Africa, Latin America and South and South East Asia.

British Academy Policy Centre


The Centre was established in October 2009 with matching funding provided by the Economic and Social Research Council
Economic and Social Research Council
The Economic and Social Research Council is one of the seven Research Councils in the United Kingdom. It receives most of its funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and provides funding and support for research and training work in social and economic issues, such as...

 and gained further funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Established in April 2005 as successor to the Arts and Humanities Research Board, the Arts and Humanities Research Council is a British Research Council and non-departmental public body that provides approximately £102 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the...

 from March 2010. It oversees a programme of activity engaging the expertise within the humanities and social sciences to shed light on policy issues.

It produces substantive reports making recommendations on public policy and practice. These include research on families and public policy, published in February 2010, and on the history of the family, published in October 2010. The Centre also produces topical research syntheses, summarising existing literature. These include work on electoral systems published in March 2010 and on constituency boundaries, published in September 2010.

The Centre’s activities also include organising policy events and discussions, liaison with learned societies and Higher Education Institutions and promotional work on the impact and profile of humanities and social science research.

Public events


The British Academy organises a wide-ranging annual programme of more than 50 public lectures, panel discussions, conferences and seminars showcasing new research and debating topical issues. This includes a number of long-established lecture series, such as the Shakespeare Lecture, first given in 1911. Most events are free and most take place at the Academy’s headquarters in Carlton House Terrace.

Award of prizes


The British Academy awards a total of 12 Prizes and Medals, most of them awarded annually. These include the Wiley Prize for Psychology, founded in 2009; the Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize, created in 2011; and the British Academy President’s Medal, created in 2010 and awarded to up to five recipients each year who have demonstrated “signal service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences”.

Presidents of the British Academy, 1902–present

  • The Lord Reay
    Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay
    Donald James Mackay, 11th Lord Reay KT, GCSI, GCIE, PC, DL, JP was a Dutch-born British administrator and Liberal politician.-Background:...

     1902–1907
  • Sir Edward Maunde Thompson
    Edward Maunde Thompson
    Sir Edward Maunde Thompson, GCB was a British palaeographer and Principal Librarian and first Director of the British Museum. He is also noted for his study of William Shakespeare's handwriting in the manuscript of the play Sir Thomas More.-Biography:Thompson's father was Edward Thompson, Custos...

     1907–1909
  • Samuel Henry Butcher
    Samuel Henry Butcher
    Samuel Henry Butcher was an Anglo-Irish classical scholar.Samuel Henry Butcher was born in Dublin to Samuel Butcher, Bishop of Meath. John Butcher, 1st Baron Danesfort was his younger brother. He became an eminent classical scholar and, in his final years, an English politician...

     1909–1910
  • Sir Adolphus Ward
    Adolphus William Ward
    Sir Adolphus William Ward was an English historian and man of letters.He was born at Hampstead, London, and was educated in Germany and at Peterhouse, Cambridge....

     1911–1913
  • The Viscount Bryce
    James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce
    James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce OM, GCVO, PC, FRS, FBA was a British academic, jurist, historian and Liberal politician.-Background and education:...

     1913–1917
  • Sir Frederic Kenyon
    Frederic G. Kenyon
    Sir Frederic George Kenyon GBE KCB TD FBA FSA was a British paleographer and biblical and classical scholar. He occupied from 1889 to 1931 a series of posts at the British Museum...

     1917–1921
  • The Earl of Balfour
    Arthur Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

     1921–1928
  • H. A. L. Fisher 1928–1932
  • John William Mackail
    John William Mackail
    John William Mackail O.M. was a Scottish man of letters and socialist, now best remembered as a Virgil scholar. He was also a poet, literary historian and biographer....

     1932–1936
  • Sir David Ross 1936–1940
  • Sir J. H. Clapham
    John Clapham
    Sir John Harold Clapham, CBE, LittD, FBA was a British economic historian.He was educated at The Leys School in Cambridge and King's College, Cambridge. He was the first Professor of Economic History at Cambridge University from 1928 to 1938, and Vice-Provost of King's College, Cambridge from 1933...

     1940–1946
  • Sir Idris Bell
    Idris Bell
    Sir Harold Idris Bell CB OBE was a British papyrologist and scholar of Welsh literature....

     1946–1950
  • Sir Charles Kingsley Webster 1950–1954
  • Sir George Norman Clark 1954–1958
  • Sir Maurice Bowra
    Maurice Bowra
    Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra was an English classical scholar and academic, known for his wit. He was Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, from 1938 to 1970, and served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1951 to 1954.-Birth and boyhood:...

     1958–1962
  • The Lord Robbins
    Lionel Robbins
    Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins, FBA was a British economist and head of the economics department at the London School of Economics...

     1962–1967
  • Sir Kenneth Clinton Wheare 1967–1971
  • Sir Denys Lionel Page 1971–1974
  • Sir Isaiah Berlin
    Isaiah Berlin
    Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

     1974–1978
  • Sir Kenneth James Dover
    Kenneth Dover
    Sir Kenneth James Dover, FRSE, FBA was a distinguished British Classical scholar and academic, who was head of an Oxford college and from 1981 until his retirement in December 2005 was Chancellor of the University of St Andrews....

     1978–1981
  • The Revd Owen Chadwick
    Owen Chadwick
    William Owen Chadwick, OM, KBE, FBA, FRSE is a British professor, writer and prominent historian of Christianity. He was also a rugby union player.-Early life and education:Chadwick was born in Bromley in 1916...

     1981–1985
  • Sir Randolph Quirk 1985–1989
  • Sir Anthony Kenny
    Anthony Kenny
    Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny FBA is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the philosophy of religion...

     1989–1993
  • Sir Keith Thomas
    Keith Thomas (historian)
    Sir Keith Vivian Thomas is a Welsh historian, best known as the author of Religion and the Decline of Magic and Man and the Natural World.-Biography:...

     1993–1997
  • Sir Tony Wrigley 1997–2001
  • The Viscount Runciman of Doxford
    Garry Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford
    Walter Garrison Runciman, 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, CBE, FBA , is a leading British historical sociologist, usually known informally as Garry Runciman...

     2001–2004
  • The Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve 2005–2009
  • Sir Adam Roberts 2009–present

Secretaries of the British Academy, 1902–present

  • Sir Israel Gollancz
    Israel Gollancz
    Sir Israel Gollancz was a scholar of early English literature and of Shakespeare. He was Professor of English Language and Literature at King's College, London, from 1903 to 1930....

     (1902-1930)
  • Sir Frederic G. Kenyon
    Frederic G. Kenyon
    Sir Frederic George Kenyon GBE KCB TD FBA FSA was a British paleographer and biblical and classical scholar. He occupied from 1889 to 1931 a series of posts at the British Museum...

     GBE, KCB (1930-1949)
  • Sir R. E. Mortimer Wheeler
    Mortimer Wheeler
    Brigadier Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler CH, CIE, MC, FBA, FSA , was one of the best-known British archaeologists of the twentieth century.-Education and career:...

     CH, CIE, MC (1949-1968)
  • Mr Derek Allen
    Derek Allen
    Derek Fortrose Allen CB FSA FBA was Treasurer of the British Academy from 1973 until his death and Secretary of that organisation from 1969 to 1973.The BA's Derek Allen Prize was named after him.- References :...

    , CB (1969-1973)
  • Dr N. J. Williams
    N. J. Williams
    Neville John Williams was Secretary of the British Academy from 1973 until his death.- References :* ‘WILLIAMS, Neville John’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007...

     (1973-1977)
  • Mr J. P. Carswell
    J. P. Carswell
    John Patrick Carswell CB FRSL was an English civil servant and author who served as Secretary of the British Academy from 1978 to 1983. Professionally and as an author, he was known as J. P...

    , CB (1978-1983)
  • Mr P. W. H. Brown
    P. W. H. Brown
    Peter Wilfred Henry Brown CBE was Secretary to the British Academy, 1983–2006. In 1995 he was made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.- References:...

    , CBE (1983-2006)
  • Dr Robin Jackson (2006-present)

Publications


Lectures and Conferences Papers
  • British Academy Original Paperbacks
  • British Academy Occasional Papers
  • Proceedings of the British Academy
    Proceedings of the British Academy
    The Proceedings of the British Academy is a peer-reviewed academic journal. The publication consists of conference proceedings and lectures, and several of the individual volumes have their own unique titles. Articles from volume 51 onwards are available as PDF files for members, with the first...

  • Reissues of Proceedings lectures
  • Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology
  • Symposia
  • Thank-Offering to Britain Fund Lectures


Monographs
  • Archaeological reports (including BAMA)
  • British Academy Centenary Monographs
  • British Academy
    British Academy
    The British Academy is the United Kingdom's national body for the humanities and the social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value.It receives an annual...

  • Miscellaneous research publications
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs
  • Supplemental Papers


Research series
  • Anglo-Saxon Charters
    Anglo-Saxon Charters
    Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in Britain which typically make a grant of land or record a privilege. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s; the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the eighth century surviving...

  • Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi
  • Classical and Medieval Logic Texts
  • Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture
  • Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani
  • Corpus vasorum antiquorum
    Corpus vasorum antiquorum
    Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum is an international research project for ceramic documentation of the classical area.CVA is the first and oldest research project of the Union Académique Internationale of France. The first project meeting was organized by Edmond Pottier in Paris in 1919. The final...

  • Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi
  • Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources
    Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources
    The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources is a lexicon of Medieval Latin, published by Oxford University Press for the British Academy, and sometimes referred to as simply the Dictionary of Medieval Latin or the Medieval Latin Dictionary. After decades of preparatory work, the...

  • Early English Church Music
  • English Episcopal Acta
  • Fontes Historiae Africanae
  • Oriental and African Archives
  • Oriental Documents
  • Records of Social and Economic History
  • Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles
    Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles
    The Sylloge of the Coins of the British Isles is an ongoing project to publish all major museum collections and certain important private collections of British coins. Catalogues in the series contain full details and illustrations of each and every specimen...

  • Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
    Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
    Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum is an ancient Greek coin research project of the British Academy which catalogues both public and private Greek coin collections in the UK. It has published more than 120 volumes of images and data and its online database includes over 25,000 coins in British collections...

  • Tabula Imperii Romani


Reports
  • British Academy Review
  • Past, Present and future: the public value of the humanities and social sciences

External links