University of Warwick: Two Warwick academics elected Fellows of the British Academy

Two University of Warwick researchers have been elected as Fellows of the British Academy in recognition of their contribution to the social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Professor Anne Gerritsen (History) and Professor Shirin Rai (Politics and International Studies) are among 84 new Fellows announced by the prestigious institution, which was founded in 1902 as the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

A British Academy Fellowship is one of the highest honours available to UK academics, awarded to researchers who, in the view of their peers, have made a distinguished academic contribution to humanities or social science research.

Prof GerritsenProfessor Anne Gerritsen (right) explores how objects tell the story of the past, with a particular focus on the blue and white Chinese porcelain found all over the world but made in kilns in and around the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.

Her book, The City of Blue and White, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020, deals with the history of the ceramics production centre of Jingdezhen.

Reflecting on her new Fellowship, Professor Gerritsen said “I am really delighted and feel very humbled. I am just so grateful for the support I have always had from colleagues at Warwick.”

Prof RaiProfessor Shirin M. Rai (left) has written extensively on issues of gender, governance and development and gender and political institutions, publishing Performing Representation: Women Members in the Indian Parliament (OUP) in 2019. She is currently working on the impact of COVID-19 on older people and their carers in Coventry and Leicester and writing two books – Depletion: the human cost of care (OUP) and Doing Politics Sideways (Routledge).

Commenting on her Fellowship, Professor Rai said “I am delighted to have been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy and look forward to working with colleagues in the Academy – particularly in the Politics and International Relations Section – through my research and impact work to address issues of international development, social (in)equalities and innovative methodologies. I thank colleagues in PAIS and the wider gender and politics community for supporting my work”.

Commenting on the elections of Professor Gerritsen and Professor Rai, the University of Warwick’s Provost, Professor Christine Ennew, said:

“To be elected a fellow of the British Academy is an exceptional achievement and a much-deserved recognition of the contributions Anne and Shirin have made to their fields of research.

“As a leading expert in early modern Chinese history, Anne has brought to life the importance of porcelain to the country’s history and development.

“As Director of the Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development, Shirin’s work on gender, governance and development has brought fresh understanding of the practical realities of the politics of international development.

“I’m sure the entire Warwick community will join me in congratulating Anne and Shirin on their elections and in wishing them well for their future research.”

Welcoming the Fellows, the new President of the British Academy, Professor Julia Black, said:

“As the new President of the British Academy, it gives me great pleasure to welcome this new cohort of Fellows, who are as impressive as ever and remind us of the rich and diverse scholarship and research undertaken within the SHAPE disciplines – the social sciences, humanities and the arts. I am very much looking forward to working with them on our shared interests.

“The need for SHAPE subjects has never been greater. As Britain recovers from the pandemic and seeks to build back better, the insights from our diverse disciplines will be vital to ensure the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the UK and will continue to provide the cultural and societal enrichment that has sustained us over the last eighteen months. Our new Fellows embody the value of their subjects and I congratulate them warmly for their achievement.”

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