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British Academy announces 2016 prizes and medal winners

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The British Academy has announced the 2016 winners of its prizes and medals, which will be formally celebrated at the Academy’s annual awards ceremony, today, Tuesday 27 September 2016.

The prestigious President’s Medal for services to the humanities and social sciences has been awarded to individuals who play important roles in Britain’s cultural life. The 2016 winners are: the bestselling author and acclaimed historian Dame Hilary Mantel; Professor Sir Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Dr Roger Bland, Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester, formerly Keeper of the Department of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum and founder of the Portable Antiquities Scheme to record archaeological objects found by the public; and Dr Leofranc Holford-Strevens, who held the positions of proof-reader, copy editor and finally Consultant Scholar Editor at Oxford University Press from 1971 until his retirement in 2011.

The Academy’s most valuable prize is the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding. The £25,000 prize is this year awarded to Professor Carole Hillenbrand, Honorary Professorial Fellow in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Professor of Islamic History at the University of St Andrews.

Lord Stern, President of the British Academy, will present the awards. He said:

"We are delighted to celebrate the success of this year’s winners, who have excelled in scholarship, research and promoting public understanding across the humanities and social sciences. These awards play an important part in the Academy’s work to support and recognise academics at every level of their career, and I am pleased to see the breadth of work taking place across the Academy’s disciplines.”

The full list of award winners is included below.

The President’s Medal
The President's Medal rewards outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences. It covers a broad range of criteria, including insightful journalism contributing to public understanding, use of research in policymaking, and public leadership.

The 2016 winners are:
Dr Roger Bland OBE (University of Leicester) for his contribution to the protection, and academic and public understanding, of Britain’s cultural heritage

Dr Leofranc Holford-Strevens for his significant work copy-editing hundreds of publications across a broad range of languages and disciplines

Dame Hilary Mantel DBE for her two historical novels on Thomas Cromwell, providing the public with a deep insight into the periods they portray

Professor Sir Stanley Wells CBE (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) for his lifetime service to the study, knowledge and enjoyment of William Shakespeare.

The British Academy Medal
The British Academy Medals are awarded for landmark academic achievement in any of the humanities and social science disciplines supported by the Academy.

The 2016 winners are:
Professor Tim Blanning FBA (University of Cambridge) for Frederick the Great: King of Prussia (Allen Lane, 2015)

Dr Susan E. Kelly (University of East Anglia) for Charters of Chertsey Abbey (British Academy, 2015) and Charters of Christ Church Canterbury (British Academy, 2013)

Professor David Lowenthal FBA (University College London) for The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Transcultural Understanding
A major prize, worth £25,000, awarded annually for outstanding scholarly contribution to transcultural understanding. The award is designed to illustrate the interconnected nature of cultures and civilizations, and was founded by the International Relations scholar, Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan. This prize was first awarded in 2013 and will be presented this year at a ceremony on 31 October 2016.

The 2016 winner is:
Professor Carole Hillenbrand OBE FBA (Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews) for Islam: A New Historical Introduction (Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2015).

Neil and Saras Smith Medal for Linguistics
The Neil and Saras Smith Medal is awarded to a linguist of any nationality whose career has demonstrated the highest standards of achievement and scholarship. Professor Neil Smith FBA, who established the medal, is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at University College London.

The 2016 winner is:
Sir John Lyons FBA (University of Cambridge) for his outstanding lifetime contribution to the field of linguistics.

Brian Barry Prize in Political Science
The British Academy, in partnership with Cambridge University Press and the British Journal of Political Science, awards this prize in honour of Brian Barry FBA, a founding editor of the journal. The prize is awarded annually for excellence in political science, as displayed in an unpublished essay.

The 2016 winners are:
Professor William Roberts Clark (Texas A&M University), Professor Matt Golder (Pennsylvania State University), and Professor Sona N. Golder (Pennsylvania State University) for An Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Model of Politics.

Derek Allen Prize for Musicology
This prize commemorates Derek Allen FBA (1910–1975), a former Secretary and Treasurer of the Academy. It was founded in 1976 by his widow, Mrs Winifred Allen, and her sons, to provide an award for outstanding published work by a scholar of any nationality in one of three fields in which Mr Allen had particular interest. Annual awards are made in turn in musicology, numismatics and Celtic studies. 2016 is the turn of musicology.

The 2016 winner is:
Dr Margaret Bent CBE FBA (University of Oxford) for her contribution to the field of musicology, in particular English, French and Italian music from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.

Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies
The founder of this award, Professor Francis Burkitt, had bronze medals struck in 1923 for presentation by the Academy in recognition of special services to Biblical studies. After his death in 1935, the medals were named Burkitt Medals, and alternately reward work in Hebrew Bible Studies and New Testament Studies (as in this year).

The 2016 winner is:
Professor Dr Dr h.c. Barbara Aland (University of Münster) for her significant contribution to New Testament textual research.

Edward Ullendorff Medal for Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies
The Edward Ullendorff Medal is awarded annually for scholarly distinction and achievements in the field of Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies. This award commemorates Professor Edward Ullendorff FBA (1920-2011). His widow, Mrs Dina Ullendorff, has generously supported the establishment of a Medal in memory of her husband in view of his long association with the Academy, which he valued greatly.

The 2016 winner is:
Dr Sebastian Brock FBA (University of Oxford) for his extensive contribution to the study of Syriac language and literature.

Rose Mary Crawshay Prize
The award was established in April 1888 by Mrs Rose Mary Crawshay as ‘The Byron, Shelley, Keats In Memoriam Yearly Prize Fund’. In 1914, some years after her death, the Charity Commissioners transferred the administration of the prize fund to the Academy. It is now awarded for a historical or critical work on any subject connected with English Literature by a woman of any nationality.

The 2016 winner is:
Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of East Anglia) for The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (Edinburgh University Press, 2011).

Grahame Clark Medal
The Grahame Clark Medal was endowed in 1992 by Professor Sir Grahame Clark FBA, who wished that distinguished achievements involving recent contributions to the study of prehistoric archaeology should be acknowledged. This Medal was first awarded in 1993.

The 2016 winner is:
Professor Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg) for his contribution to the study of the European Bronze Age, and the management, protection and interpretation of archaeological heritage.

Serena Medal for Italian Art History
The Serena Medal is awarded annually for eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of Italian history, literature, art or economics. It was endowed by Mr Arthur Serena after Great Britain’s alliance with Italy in the First World War. The medal was first awarded in 1920.

The 2016 winner is:
Professor Geoffrey Nowell-Smith (Queen Mary University of London) for his contribution to the study of film, particularly Italian cinema.

Wiley Prize in Economics
The Wiley Prize in Economics, worth £5,000, is awarded annually for achievement in research by an outstanding early career economist. The award is sponsored by the publisher, Wiley.

The 2016 winner is:
Professor James Fenske (University of Warwick) for his work in the field of Economic History, in particular quantitative economic history of Africa.

Wiley Prize in Psychology
This annual prize, in partnership with the publisher, Wiley, provides an award of £5,000 in recognition of excellence in research in psychology. It alternately rewards lifetime achievement by an outstanding international scholar and promising early career work by a UK-based psychologist (as in this year).

The 2016 winner is:
Dr Stephen Fleming (University College London) for his contribution to the study of the neuropsychology of human metacognition.


Further information about the British Academy’s prizes and medals

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