British Academy

British Academy
10-11 Carlton House Terrace
Greater London




020 7969 5200

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

The British Academy is an independent national academy of Fellows elected for their eminence in research and publication. It is the UK's expert body that supports and speaks for the humanities and social sciences.

Venue Type:

Association or society

Opening hours

08:00 - 19:00.

Admission charges

There is no entry charge.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
photograph of wounded soldier on battlefield

War: An Emotional History

  • 11 May 2015 9:30am-5pm

This two-day conference seeks to explore the degree to which war impacted upon the emotional world of those who lived through times of conflict, and to consider how individuals in a range of different national contexts have responded to war from the medieval to the modern period.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children
  • 18+




Reinventing the Corporation

  • 3 March 2015 6-7:15pm

Professor Colin Mayer FBA

Tuesday 3 March 2015, 6-7.15pm, followed by a reception
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Chaired by: Professor Mary Morgan FBA, London School of Economics

The corporation is one of the most important institutions in our lives. It feeds, clothes and houses us. It employs us and invests our savings. It is the source of economic prosperity and the growth of nations around the world. But the corporation is also the cause of immense problems and suffering, a source of poverty and pollution, and its failures are increasing. While governments are subject to repeated questioning and scrutiny, the corporation receives relatively little attention. In this lecture, Professor Colin Mayer will discuss the role of the corporation in contemporary society and what we can do to reform it.

About the speaker:
Colin Mayer is the Peter Moores Professor of Management Studies at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is a Professorial Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College and St Anne’s College, Oxford.


Tackling the Great Challenges of the 21st Century

  • 5 March 2015 6:30-8pm

5 March 2015, 6.30-8pm, The Royal Society, London

Join Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and Lord Stern, President of the British Academy, as they discuss the new opportunities – and need – for collaboration between the traditional academic disciplines to respond to the big issues of our time, highlighting why the UK’s research base is such an important national asset.

About the speakers:
Sir Paul Nurse has been President of the Royal Society since 2010. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and is also Chief Executive of The Francis Crick Institute.
Lord Nicholas Stern of Brentford became the 29th President of the British Academy in July 2013. He is IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, and also Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


The Skeleton in the Car Park: Richard III and the legcy of his re-discovery

  • 12 March 2015 6-7:30pm

In September 2012 the excavation of a skeleton from a Leicester city car park ignited worldwide media frenzy. Six months later the team behind the excavation confirmed the identity of the skeleton as King Richard III.

Two years on, as his body is reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, what difference has this discovery made? How has the team's research changed the way we se the ruler, his reign, and the establishment of the Tudor dynasty?

Now that the 'hunchbacl' myth has been disproven, can we ever perform Shakespeare's Richard III in the same way again?

How do we understand the legends and 'propoganda' of the last Plantagenet king?

This event will explore the wide ranging impact of the discovery and its ramifications.


The four epochs of jury trial in England

  • 17 March 2015 6-7:15pm

Professor John Langbein FBA, Yale University

Chaired by: Professor Hugh Collins FBA, University of Oxford

Jury trial, the defining institution of the English common law, has undergone incessant change across a history of more than eight centuries. In this lecture, I will trace the development of jury trial through four distinct epochs, from medieval to modern times. I will emphasize a structural shortcoming in the formative age of jury trial, which I call the 'investigation deficit'. My theme is that the challenge of responding to the investigation deficit constituted the main dynamic that shaped the development of jury trial across the epochs.

About the speaker:
John H. Langbein, Sterling Professor of Law and Legal History, Yale University, writes about the history of English, American, and European civil and criminal justice. His books include History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions (with Lerner & Smith) (Kluwer 2009); The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial (Oxford U.P. 2003).


Medieval Migrants: On the move in Britain after Rome's Fall

  • 26 March 2015 6-7:30pm

Chaired by: Professor Michael Wood, University of Manchester

The early medieval period was one of the great ages of migration. Until recently, though, research has concentrated on men, especially kings and early war bands from across the seas. Join Professor Robin Fleming as she reveals new thinking about migration during the fifth and sixth centuries, exploring how people moved within Britain itself and the impact of these movements on Britain’s female population.

Robin Fleming is a Professor at Boston College, where her research specialises in life in Britain during and after the fall of the Roman Empire.


Aliens, Foreigners and Strangers in Medieval England, c. AD 500-1500

  • 26 — 27 March 2015 9:30am-5pm

Convenors: Professor Mark Ormrod, University of York, Professor Joanna Story, University of Leicester, Professor Elizabeth Tyler, University of York

Immigration, its causes and its consequences, is a contentious topic with profound political, social, economic and cultural effects both for individual migrants and for the host and donor communities. It is not a new phenomenon. This conference will take a multidisciplinary approach to the presence and treatment of foreigners in England across the medieval millennium. It will provide deep historical and cultural context to discussions among policy-makers and the general public about ethnicity, multiculturalism and the evolution of national identity in modern Britain.


For this two-day conference, a registration fee of £50 is payable in advance at the time of booking.
There is a reduced fee of £20 for the unwaged/retired and for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The registration fees as listed above are payable even if you wish to attend only part of the conference.


Natural mysticism: Reggae and Caribbean poetics

  • 23 April 2015 6-7:15pm

Chaired by: Professor NIgel Leask FBA, University of Glasgow

With its complex engagement with issues of faith, politics, identity discourses, social consciousness, sexual politics, fashion, everyday cultural practices, geopolitical dynamics, language innovation and invention, and its enduring persistence in the popular and literary consciousness of Caribbean society, reggae music continues to be one of the singular, most consistently illuminating and necessary perspectives through which to understand the poetics of Caribbean writing today. In this lecture, Professor Dawes rehearses the aesthetic principles of reggae music and reveals the ways in which the music, in its many incarnations, continues to shape the work of several generations of Caribbean poets.

About the speaker:
Kwame Dawes is author of 18 collections of poetry; two novels; numerous anthologies; and plays. He has won the Forward Poetry Prize, Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Emmy. At the University of Nebraska he is a Chancellor's Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner.


Observing language change and language processing: Old manuscripts, new brains

  • 8 May 2015 4:15-5:30pm

Chaired by: Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams FBA,SOAS, University of London

Speech requires a speaker and a listener, and both have their roles to play in language transmission and change. No word is ever spoken exactly the same even by the same speaker. Despite subtle variation, listeners understand with remarkable ease. It is the speaker-listener interaction that prevents human language from ever remaining static: change is subtle, but persistent and relentless. This talk traces language change and language processing, drawing on evidence of rather different kinds: old manuscripts, the traditional source of philology, as well as modern speech analysis and brain imaging techniques.

About the speaker:
Aditi Lahiri obtained her doctorate degrees from the University of Calcutta and Brown University. After teaching at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz, she became a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in the Netherlands followed by the Chair of General Linguistics at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Her honours and awards include the Leibniz Prize (from the German Research Foundation, 2000), Fellow of the British Academy (2010), and an honorary life member of the Linguistic Society of America (2013).



  • 11 — 17 May 2015

In May 2015 the British Academy explores the fantastical and the magical with a week on fairy tales and folk tales, literary genres which transcend cultural, historical and national boundaries.

Join authors, academics, writers, social commentators and cultural figures to explore some of the oldest genres in literature and to understand why, in a modern world, we are still so captivated by the chance to escape to ‘other worlds’...


Please check booking details and admission charges before visiting.


Anthropology, digital music and the contemporary

  • 19 May 2015 6-7:15pm

Professor Georgina Born FBA, University of Oxford

Chaired by: Professor Dame Marilyn Strathern FBA, University of Cambridge

How can anthropology help us to understand the epochal social and cultural changes catalysed by the take up of digital media and the internet? This lecture readdresses classic anthropological concerns, among them the nature of time and, as befits the Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, of social relations, drawing on a global programme of ethnographic studies of art and popular digital music cultures in Argentina, Canada, Cuba, India, Kenya and the United Kingdom. The lecture indicates how doing anthropology through music can revitalize these fundamental concerns, opening up new conceptual directions, while reshaping what has been called an anthropology of the contemporary.

About the speaker:
Georgina Born FBA is Professor of Music and Anthropology at Oxford University and Fellow of Mansfield College. She directs the ERC-funded ethnographic research programme ‘Music, Digitization, Mediation’ which examines the transformation of music by digitisation. She holds visiting professorships at McGill University and Oslo University, and was previously Bloch Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.


Screen Translation and the Benshi Tradition in Japan

  • 21 May 2015 6-7:30pm

Join the eminent Japanese Benshi Kataoka Ichiro as he discusses with Professor Markus Nornes, some of the issues surrounding screen translation in Japan. Through a series of short films and extracts in English and Japanese, Professor Nornes and Kataoka Ichiro will illustrate the challenges of translating both silent and sound film, and how Benshi, as performers, were an important part of the film viewing experience in their own right.

Markus Nornes is Professor of Asian Cinema at the University of Michigan.
Kataoka Ichiro is one of the top professional Benshi in Japan. He tours globally and accompanies Japanese silent films.


Splendid Innovations: The development, reception and preservation of screen translation

  • 21 — 22 May 2015 9:30am-5pm

Convenors: Dr Carol O’Sullivan, University of Bristol, and Dr Jean-François Cornu, France

This conference brings together translation scholars, film historians and archivists to piece together the untold history of screen translation from the silent period to the early talkies. There’s much that we don’t know about this period, starting with what materials survive, in what languages, from what films.

This conference will identify the challenges which exist in writing the history of dubbing, subtitling and other forms of screen translation. It will ask what a ‘translated’ film was anyway, in the silent and early sound period, and what part translation played in wider textual transformations of film before and after 1927.


For this two-day conference, a registration fee of £50 is payable in advance at the time of booking.
There is a reduced fee of £20 for the unwaged/retired and for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The registration fees as listed above are payable even if you wish to attend only part of the conference.


Out of the ashes: Europe’s rebirth after the Second World War, 1945-1949

  • 2 July 2015 6-7:15pm

Professor Sir Ian Kershaw FBA

Chaired by: Professor Sir Richard J Evans FBA, University of Cambridge

The end of the First World War produced turmoil and upheaval in Europe which culminated in a second conflagration twenty years later. The end of the Second World War – massively more destructive even than the First – led in contrast to unprecedented peace, stability and prosperity in Europe. How is this to be explained? This lecture will explore the conditions in Europe between 1945 and 1949 in the attempt to find some answers.

About the speaker:
Ian Kershaw was until 2008, Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Hitler and most recently The End: Germany, 1944-45. He is currently working on a 2-volume history of Europe in the 20th Century for the Penguin History of Europe series.


Who reads Geography or History anymore? The challenge of audience in a digital age

  • 7 July 2015 6-7:15pm

Professor William Cronon

Chaired by: Professor Felix Driver FBA, Royal Holloway, University of London

The disciplines of history and geography favour quite different rhetorical venues for communicating their research findings. Geography long ago joined the rest of the sciences in preferring peer-reviewed journal articles as its principal mode of professional communication, whereas history is one of the last remaining disciplines still committed primarily to the book-length monograph. Neither format seems ideally suited to the increasingly dominant rhetorical media created by the digital revolution. How might geographers and historians best respond to the challenge of reaching academic and non-academic audiences in the 21st century?

About the speaker:
William Cronon studies North American environmental history: how human beings depend on the ecosystems around us to sustain our material lives, how we modify the landscapes in which we live and work, and how our ideas of nature shape our relationships with the world around us.