British Academy Elects Largest Number of Fellows in Its History


A record 76 academics — four of them alumni of the Social Science Bites podcast series here at Social Science Space — have been elected as fellows of the British Academy in recognition of their achievements in the humanities and social sciences.

This is the largest cohort of new fellows elected to the British Academy in its 116-year history, and follows a vote to broaden and expand the fellowship.

British Academy logoThe expertise of this year’s fellows ranges from the social and ethical dimensions of disability (Tom Shakespeare, University of East Anglia), to the pof India (Joya Chatterji, University of Cambridge), and monetary policy (Silvana Tenreyro, London School of Economics and Political Sciences). The four new fellows who have done Bites podcasts are Sonia LivingstoneMelinda Mills, Richard Sennett, and Roberto Unger.

Some 52 fellows were elected from universities in the United Kingdom, with a further 20 — known as “corresponding fellows” — elected from universities in the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Italy and France.

“The election of the largest cohort of fellows in our history means the British Academy is better placed than ever to help tackle the challenges we all face today,” the president of the academy, Sir David Cannadine, was quoted. “Whether it’s social integration or the ageing society, the future of democracy or climate change, Brexit or the rise of artificial intelligence, the insights of the humanities and social sciences are essential as we navigate our way through an uncertain present into what we hope will be an exciting future.

Four honorary fellows have also been elected:

  • Baroness Joan Bakewell DBE – writer, broadcaster, author; President of Birkbeck, University of London
  • Sir Andrew Dilnot CBE – Warden Nuffield College, University of Oxford; Chair, UK Statistics Authority
  • Tony Harrison – Poet, translator and playwright
  • Mary-Kay Wilmers – Editor, London Review of Books.

These new fellows of the British Academy join a community of over 1,400 of the leading minds that make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Current fellows include the classicist Dame Mary Beard, the historian Sir Simon Schama and philosopher Baroness Onora O’Neill, while previous Fellows include Sir Winston Churchill, C.S Lewis, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

As well as a fellowship, the British Academy is a funding body for research, nationally and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement.

UK Fellows

Lynn Abrams | Professor of Modern History, University of Glasgow
Research area: The history of modern gender relations in Britain and Europe; the history of child welfare; oral history theory; the economies and cultures of knitted textiles

Ben Ansell | Professor of Comparative Democratic Institutions, University of Oxford
Research area: Political economy with a focus on wealth inequality and redistribution; the politics of education policy; democratisation and regime transitions; the origins of social policy and state capacity

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore | Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London
Research area: The development of social cognition and decision-making in the human adolescent brain; understanding and promoting mental health in adolescence

Hagit Borer | Chair in Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London
Research area: Grammatical theory, with a focus on modelling the morphological, phonological, and semantic relationship between syntactic architecture and properties of lexical items within and across different languages

Richard Bourke | Professor in the History of Political Thought, Queen Mary University of London
Research area: The history of political thought, enlightenment intellectual history, political theory, modern Irish history

Douglas Cairns FRSE | Professor of Classics, University of Edinburgh
Research area: Ancient Greek literature, society, and ethics, especially the emotions; Homer; Sophocles; the concept of honour in Ancient Greek and modern societies; cognitive approaches to Classical Studies

Rajesh Chandy | Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Marketing, London Business School
Research area: Innovation; marketing strategy; business in developing countries; entrepreneurship; impact of business on poverty and inequity

Joya Chatterji | Professor of South Asian History, University of Cambridge
Research area: The causes and consequences of India’s partition; refugees and rights; South Asian citizenship, minority formation; migration and diaspora

Brian Cheffins | S J Berwin Professor of Corporate Law, University of Cambridge
Research area: Corporate law and corporate governance, with particular emphasis on economic and comparative dimensions.  The historical development of publicly traded corporations, focusing primarily on Britain and the United States

Veronica Della Dora | Professor of Human Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
Research area: Cultural and historical geography; Byzantine and post-Byzantine studies, with a specific focus on sacred space and representations of place, landscape and nature

Tia DeNora | Professor of Sociology of Music, University of Exeter
Research area: The socio-musical study of everyday life; music, wellbeing and health; the history of 18th and 19th century musical life; music, gender and cultures of science

Christopher Evans | Executive Director, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, University of Cambridge
Research area: The later prehistoric and Roman archaeology of Southeast England; archaeology in Nepal and Cape Verde; history of archaeology

James Fairhead | Professor of Anthropology, University of Sussex
Research area: Environmental, agro-ecological and medical anthropology of West and Central Africa, and their global science/policy relations; history, historical ecology and political ecology of West Africa; history of nineteenth century American anthropology

Simon Gaunt | Professor of French Language and Literature, King’s College, London
Research area: Medieval French and Occitan literature; philology; textual criticism and transmission; medieval multilingualism; critical theory, particularly actor network theory, feminism, psychoanalysis and queer theory

Maitreesh Ghatak | Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Applied Microeconomics; non-pecuniary motivation and incentives, inequality and occupational choice, poverty traps, non-profits, microfinance, property rights, tenancy and land reform

David Gordon | Professor of Social Justice, University of Bristol
Research area: Researching Social Justice, including developing and monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of anti-poverty policies, child disability, health inequalities and the scientific measurement of poverty and deprivation

Catherine Hall | Professor Emerita of Modern British Social and Cultural History, Chair of the Centre for the Study of British Slave-ownership Department of History, University College London
Research area: History of Britain and its empire in the C18 and C19 with particular reference to the Caribbean; the entangled raced and gendered histories born of colonialism and post-colonialism

Carol Harrison | Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, University of Oxford
Research area: early Christianity, in particular the Latin West; Augustine of Hippo; auditory culture; spirituality; language; exegesis; sense perception and materiality; music

Martin Jones | George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Cambridge
Research area: Past foodways in the context of long term societal change, with a particular interest in the trans-regional movement of food plants across the prehistoric world

Alison Liebling | Director, Prisons Research Centre; Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Cambridge
Research area: The development of conceptual and methodological understanding of the prison’s changing social and moral climate, including the meaning, role and impact of power, staff-prisoner relationships, trust, respect, humanity and inhumanity

Elena Lieven | Professor of Psychology and Director, ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD), University of Manchester
Research area: Children’s language and communicative development: the emergence and construction of grammars; input characteristics and language learning; cross-linguistic and cross-cultural variation in communicative environments; usage-based and processing theories of language development

Jane Lightfoot | Professor of Greek Literature, University of Oxford
Research area: The exploration, through editions, commentaries, and exegeses, of un- or under-explored classical texts: mythography, ethnography, geography, oracular literature, astrology, medicine; Hellenistic and imperial poetry and prose

Sonia Livingstone OBE | Professor of Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Media audiences and mediated publics; media and digital literacy; media regulation; comparative work on children’s and young people’s risks, opportunities and rights in the digital environment

Ian Loader | Professor of Criminology, University of Oxford
Research area: Policing and security; penal policy and culture; public sensibilities towards crime, order and justice; crime control and democratic politics; criminology and social and political theory

Eleanor Maguire FMedSci, FRS, Hon. MRIA | Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London
Research area: Cognitive neuropsychology and neuroimaging of memory; studying how the brain supports our ability to navigate in the world, remember the experiences we have along the way, and imagine the future

Peter Marshall | Professor of History, University of Warwick
Research area: Religious and cultural history of early modern Europe; the social and political impact of the British Reformations; popular belief, in particular death and the supernatural

Peter Miller | Professor of Management Accounting, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Accounting, organizing, and economizing in both the public and private sector; analyses of modes and devices of governing; New Public Management reforms, with particular reference to healthcare

Melinda Mills MBE | Nuffield Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford
Research area: Sociology; demography (fertility, assortative mating, labour market); sociogenomics (combining sociology and molecular genetics); chronobiology; nonstandard employment; statistics

Niamh Moloney | Professor of Financial Markets Law, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: EU financial market regulation. Consumer financial protection regulation. The institutional governance of financial markets, particularly the EU’s institutional arrangements including the European System of Financial Supervision and Banking Union

Hervé Moulin FRSE | D J Robertson Chair in Economics, University of Glasgow
Research area: Game and Social Choice Theories, and their applications to Fair Division rules

Catherine Nash | Professor of Human Geography, Queen Mary University of London
Research area: Cultural geography: geographies of relatedness; interspecies kinship; popular and scientific genealogical knowledges and practices of collective identity and difference; Irish geographies

Lynda Nead | Pevsner Professor of History of Art, Birkbeck, University of London
Research area: Gender, modernity and the city in nineteenth-century Britain; post-Second World War British art and culture; relationships between art, photography and film

Samir Okasha | Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Bristol
Research area: Philosophy of science; philosophy of biology; foundations of evolutionary theory; epistemology

Wen-Chin Ouyang | Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Research area: Arabic Literature, Comparative Literature, World Literature, and the Silk Roads

Ian Rumfitt | Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford
Research area: Philosophy of logic, language, and mathematics; early analytic philosophy (especially Frege and Ramsey)

David Runciman | Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge
Research area: The history of political thought and political theory; ideas of democracy; politics and its relationship to technology

Timon Screech | Professor of the History of Art, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Research area: The art and culture of early-modern (Edo Period) Japan. The role of the English and Dutch East India Companies in cultural exchange with Japan. The royal iconography of the shoguns. History of popular culture and sexuality in East Asia

Professor Richard Sennett OBE
Centennial Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science; University Professor of the Humanities, New York University
Research area: History and structure of cities; history and structure of work; social theory; consultant to the United Nations on urban problems

Tom Shakespeare | Professor of Disability Research, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia
Research area: Social and ethical dimensions of disability

Alexandra Shepard | Professor of Gender History, University of Glasgow
Research area: The social and economic history of Britain between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries; gender inequality and social inequality; the history of the family, women’s work and care

Helen Small | Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford
Research area: British literature and intellectual history, primarily from 1800 to the present; the literature and philosophy of ageing; and the history and ongoing practice of advocacy for the humanities

Edmund Sonuga-Barke FMedSci | Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London
Research area: The developmental psychopathology and neuroscience of child and adolescent mental health and disorder

Jonathan Spencer FRSE | Regius Professor of South Asian Language, Culture and Society, University of Edinburgh
Research area: The anthropology, history and politics of South Asia, especially Sri Lanka: with particular focus on the cultural consequences of democracy, on conflict, and on religion

Charles Stafford | Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: The anthropology of China, Taiwan and the USA; learning, schooling and cognitive development; childhood; ethics and morality; the psychology of everyday economic life

Fiona Stafford | Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford
Research area: English literature of the Romantic period; Place and Nature Writing; Scottish and Irish poetry; Literature and the Visual Arts; Environmental Humanities

Judith Still | Professor of French and Critical Theory, University of Nottingham
Research area: Enlightenment thought and fiction in French and English; contemporary thought and fiction in French and English with particular reference to post-structuralism, feminism, hospitality, gift economies, inequalities and critical animal studies

Victor Tadros | Professor of Law and Legal Theory, University of Warwick
Research area: Philosophy of criminal law, philosophy of war, and legal, moral and political philosophy

Silvana Tenreyro | Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science
Research area: Macroeconomics, with a focus on Monetary Policy, Macro-Development and International Trade and Finance

David Thomas | Professor of Christianity and Islam, University of Birmingham
Research area: The history of Islamic religious thought; the history and theology of Christian-Muslim relations; Islamic religious attitudes towards Christianity; Arabic textual studies

Gill Valentine
Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Sheffield
Research area: Equality, diversity and social inclusion; intergenerational relations, childhood and family life; and urban cultures and consumption

Alan Warde | Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester
Research area: Sociology of consumption, culture and food in the UK and Europe

Georgina Waylen | Professor of Politics, University of Manchester
Research area: Gender and Politics, Comparative Politics, International Political Economy, Feminist Institutionalism, Democratization, Gendered Political Economy

Corresponding Fellows

Leslie Aiello | President Emerita, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, New York
Research area: The evolution of human adaptation; evolutionary anatomy, allometry, and hominin bipedal locomotion; energetics, including the co-evolution of diet and hominin brain size, growth and development, and the evolution of cooperation, cognition, and human speech

Orley Ashenfelter | Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics, Princeton University
Research area: The study of labour markets and institutions and the evaluation of public policies that affect workers and consumers

Professor Seyla Benhabib
Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Yale University; Senior Fellow, Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, Columbia University
Research area: A normative inquiry into conflict and convergence between democratic sovereignty and transnational and international law, with particular emphasis on international human rights law

Robert Brandom | Distinguished Professor, Philosophy Department, University of Pittsburgh
Research area: Philosophy of Language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of logic, pragmatism, German Idealism, Wilfrid Sellars, Frege, and Wittgenstein

Gergely Csibra | Professor, Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest
Research area: Cognitive development in infancy; Social cognition; Social learning and communication; Cognitive neuroscience

Okwui Enwezor | Formerly Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich

Martha Farah | Walter H Annenberg Professor in Natural Sciences and Director, Center for Neuroscience and Society, University of Pennsylvania
Research area: Cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on the interface between neuroscience and society; socioeconomic status and its relation to brain development; implications of neuroscience for law education and other policy areas

Jean-Louis Ferrary | Directeur d’études émérite à l’École Pratique des Hautes Études
Research area: Rome and the Greek World from the 2nd Century BC to the 2nd Century AD; Roman institutions; Roman jurists in the period of humanism

Professor Jerry Hausman
Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research area: Econometrics and applied microeconomics; new specification tests and measurement of consumer welfare; empirical estimation of consumer demand using individual level panel data

Dr Corinne Hofman | Professor of Caribbean Archaeology, and Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University
Research area: The deep history of indigenous peoples of the Caribbean; archaeology of colonial encounters, intercultural dynamics and mobility and exchange; valorization of archaeological heritage in a geopolitically and cultural diverse islandscape

Robert Jervis | Adlai E Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University
Research area: Theories of international politics, national security policy, conflict and cooperation, political psychology, complexity in social systems

William Chester Jordan | Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Princeton University
Research area: The political and legal history of northern Europe in the High Middle Ages; the development of the state and ‘church-state’ relations, as well as the crusades, Jewish-Christian relations, and credit

Peter Lake | University Distinguished Professor of History and Martha Ingram Chair of History, Vanderbilt University
Research area: English post reformation history; the intersections between religion, politics and history

Professor Bruno Latour
Professor Emeritus, Sciences Po, Paris
Research area: Science and technology studies/ history and anthropology of modernism/ political ecology and the link between arts and sciences

Angelika Neuwirth | Supervisor of the Project “Corpus Coranicum. Dokumentation und historisch-kritischer Kommentar zum Koran” at the Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Research area: The Qur’an and Late Antiquity: Contextual study of the Qur’an as a theological voice within the pluri-religious debates of Late Antiquity and the reappraisal of concepts such as “Abrahamic Religions”

Carlo Ossola | Chaire de Littératures modernes de l’Europe néolatine, Collège de France
Research area: Italian literature from its origins to the contemporary era (Renaissance culture and courtesan society, Italian authors of the twentieth century, such as Giuseppe Ungaretti); the history of civilizations and European consciousness, the history of ideas

Barbara Partee | Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Research area: Formal semantics of natural language and its relations to syntax, pragmatics, lexical semantics, philosophy of language; compositionality; quantification, anaphora, context-dependence, type-shifting; Slavic semantics, genitive of negation; history of formal semantics

Lucy Riall | Professor of the History of Europe in the World, European University Institute
Research area: Modern European history, especially Italy; the history of Europe in the world; religion and politics; biography; nationalism; the history of masculinity

Cheryl Saunders AO | Melbourne Laureate Professor Emeritus and Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne
Research area: Global comparative constitutional law, theory and methodologies; substance and processes of constitution-making and change; constitutions in conditions of 21st century globalisation; federalism and intergovernmental relations; Australian public law

Roberto Unger | Professor of Law, Harvard University
Research area: Political, moral, and natural philosophy; social and political theory; jurisprudence; economics; exploration of institutional alternatives for contemporary societies


British Academy

The British Academy is the UK’s national body which champions and supports the humanities and social sciences. It is an independent, self-governing fellowship of scholars, elected for their distinction in research and publication. Our 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.

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