British Academy takes historic Lectures programme around the UK for the first time since 1908

The British Academy has today announced that for the first time ever it will hold its flagship series of Lectures at universities around the UK.

Running since 1908 and delivered by the most distinguished academics in the UK and beyond, the British Academy’s lecture programme showcases the best scholarship in the SHAPE disciplines (the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy).

But for the first time, the Academy will hold the majority of this year’s lectures at universities outside of London including one at the University of Glasgow on 30 March, 2022. The decision is part of a move by the historic body to expand its presence across the UK and follows the recent launch of regional networks for early career researchers in the Midlands and the South West. It coincides with the Academy’s 120th anniversary.

There will be 10 lectures in Spring 2022 examining themes including the UK after Brexit, cultural rights in conflict-affected zones, and the economic and structural inequalities between Africa and rest of the world. The mixture of in-person, online and hybrid events will offer students, scholars and the wider public a chance to learn about the latest research and expand their networks.

Professor Rana Mitter, the British Academy’s Vice-president of Public Engagement, said: “Engaging with the public and making sure that we showcase voices from all around our nation are key priorities for the British Academy.  That’s why we are so pleased to hold so many of our prestigious lectures outside London for the first time in our history, so that we can reach new audiences and grow our networks across the country. 

"We want to demonstrate the social, cultural and economic value of the SHAPE subjects (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy). From global inequality and its effects in Africa to the life experiences of Generation X, this year’s lectures will cover a wide range of compelling subjects and will be essential for anyone who wants to better understand our past, present and future.”


The full list of lectures for Spring 2022 is:
  • 22 Feb, University of Portsmouth: ‘From “commodity currencies” to Covid loans: Africa and global inequality, past and present’ by Professor Toby Green
  • 23 Feb, Queen’s University Belfast: ‘Towards a History of Compromise: Comparing Political Unions in the British-Irish Isles and Poland-Lithuania’ by Professor Robert Frost FBA FRSE (Raleigh Lecture on History)
  • 3 March, Newcastle University: ‘For a reparatory social science’ by Professor Gurminder Bhambra FBA FAcSS
  • 7 March, University of Manchester: ‘For an anthropology and archaeology of freedom’ by Professor David Wengrow (Radcliffe-Brown Lecture)
  • 28 March, Coventry University: ‘The UK after Brexit’ by Professor Anand Menon
  • 30 March, the University of Glasgow: ‘Fair work for our future?’ by Professor Tricia Findlay
  • 26 April, The British Academy: ‘Generation X from birth to fifty: Inequalities in education, society and health’ by Professor Alice Sullivan
  • 28 April, University of East Anglia: ‘We are family’ by Professor Susan Golombok FBA (in partnership with the British Psychological Society)
  • 5 May, University of Leeds: ‘Cultural rights in conflict-affected zones’ by Professor Preti Taneja
  • 6 May, The Royal Society: ‘Tracking the history of words: Changing perspectives, changing research’ by Dr Philip Durkin (Anna Morpurgo-Davies Lecture).

Further lectures and locations will be announced before the Autumn.

The British Academy

The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. We mobilise these disciplines to understand the world and shape a brighter future. We invest in researchers and projects across the UK and overseas, engage the public with fresh thinking and debates, and bring together scholars, government, business and civil society to influence policy for the benefit of everyone. Visit the British Academy's website via the following link - 

The Academy has been holding academic lectures since 1908, with the programme gradually expanding over the years. A number of the lecture series are linked to endowments, including the Warton and Shakespeare Lectures first delivered in 1910 and 1911 respectively. Previous Academy lecturers include JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Karl Popper, Rowan Williams, Toril Moi and Kwame Dawes.

First published: 28 February 2022