British academy

British Academy lecture series

Following a major review in 2011, the Academy now has 31 series of lectures, and 3 series of symposia. They are listed below in the order in which they were (or will be) first delivered. Click on the blue titles for lists of recent events. (Schedule of British Academy lectures 2014-2017; PDF file)


Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology

Origins: endowed by Miss Constance Schweich in memory of her father Leopold; first delivered in 1908.
Subject/remit: 'the archaeology, art, history, languages and literature of Ancient Civilisation, with reference to Biblical Study'.
Nominating body: specialist advisory committee.
Current intended frequency: three lectures given every 3 years.

Warton Lectures on English Poetry

Origins: endowed by Mrs Frida Mond (1847-1923), and named after Thomas Warton, 'the first historian of English poetry'; first delivered in 1910.
Subject/remit: English poetry.
Nominating body: joint lectures committee of Sections H5 & H6.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years (odd years).

Shakespeare Lectures

Origins: endowed by Mrs Frida Mond (1847-1923); first delivered in 1911.
Subject/remit: 'some Shakespearean subject, philosophical, historical, or philological, or some problem in English dramatic literature and histrionic art, or some study in literature of the age of Shakespeare'.
Nominating body: joint lectures committee of Sections H5 & H6.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Philosophical Lectures

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Miss Henriette Hertz (1846-1913); first delivered in 1914.
Subject/remit: Philosophy.
Nominating body: Section H12.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Aspects of Art Lectures

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Miss Henriette Hertz (1846-1913); first delivered in 1916.
Subject/remit: some aspect of the relation of Art or Music to human culture.
Nominating body: Section H11.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Master-Mind Lectures

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Miss Henriette Hertz (1846-1913); first delivered in 1916.
Subject/remit: an appreciation of an individual of 'genius', connected with any of the disciplines of the Academy.
Nominating body: Events and Prizes Committee.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Italian Lectures/Symposia

Origins: endowed by Mrs Angela Mond; first lecture delivered 1917.
Subject/remit: Italian literature, history, and art - particularly Italy's part in the Renaissance.
Initiating body: Events and Prizes Committee (with advice from former members of the Serena Medal Committee).
Current intended frequency: from 2015, a symposium, at least every 6 years.

Raleigh Lectures on History

Origins: endowed by Sir Charles Wakefield to commemorate the tercentenary of Sir Walter Raleigh's death; first delivered in 1919.
Subject/remit: History - rotating between medieval, early modern, and modern topics.
Nominating body: Sections H8, H9 and H10 - in rotation.
Current intended frequency: annual.

Sir Israel Gollancz Memorial Lectures

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Mrs Frida Mond (1847-1923); first delivered in 1924, and subsequently named after the Academy's first Secretary, Sir Israel Gollancz.
Subject/remit: Old English or Early English Language and Literature.
Nominating body: Section H8.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Sir John Rhys Memorial Lectures

Origins: endowed through an appeal fund in memory of Sir John Rhys FBA; first delivered in 1925.
Subject/remit: a Welsh or other Celtic theme.
Nominating body: specialist advisory committee.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Albert Reckitt Archaeological Lectures

Origins: funded by the archaeological trust established by the late Mr Albert L Reckitt; first delivered in 1951.
Subject/remit: Archaeology.
Nominating body: Section H7.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Chatterton Lectures on Poetry

Origins: endowed through a bequest from E H W Meyerstein, and named after the poet Thomas Chatterton; first delivered in 1955.
Subject/remit: the life and works of a deceased poet who had written in the English language; to be given by an early career scholar.
Nominating body: joint lectures committee of Sections H5 & H6.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Dawes Hicks Symposia on Philosophy

Origins: endowed through a bequest from George Dawes Hicks FBA; first lecture delivered in 1955, first symposium held in 1994.
Subject/remit: Philosophy.
Initiating body: Section H12.
Current intended frequency: a symposium, every 3 years.

Maccabaean Lectures in Jurisprudence

Origins: endowed by the Maccabaeans society to mark the tercentenary of the Jewish resettlement in England under Cromwell; first delivered in 1956.
Subject/remit: Jurisprudence.
Nominating body: Section S1.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Sarah Tryphena Phillips Lectures/Symposia in American Studies

Origins: endowed by the Ellis L Phillips Foundation; first lecture delivered in 1961.
Subject/remit: American studies, including literature and history.
Initiating body: Events and Prizes Committee.
Current intended frequency: from 2017, a symposium, at least every 6 years.

Keynes Lectures in Economics

Origins: established at the suggestion of the Academy's Economics Section, and named after John Maynard Keynes FBA; first delivered in 1971.
Subject/remit: Economics.
Nominating body: Section S2.
Current intended frequency: annual.

Radcliffe-Brown Lectures in Social Anthropology

Origins: established by the Academy and the Association of Social Anthropologists, and named after the Association's first President, A R Radcliffe-Brown, FBA; first delivered in 1972.
Subject/remit: Social anthropology.
Nominating body: Section S3.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Elie Kedourie Memorial Lectures

Origins: endowed through an appeal fund in memory of Elie Kedourie FBA; first delivered in 1996.
Subject/remit: Modern history and politics (with particular regard to Europe or the Middle East).
Nominating body: Sections H10 and S5 - in rotation.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

The British Academy Lectures

Origins: established to mark the Academy's move to new headquarters in Carlton House Terrace in 1998; first delivered in 1997.
Subject/remit: to promote appreciation of the Academy's fields of scholarship, in particular on matters of topical debate.
Nominating body: Events and Prizes Committee.
Current intended frequency: annual.

Isaiah Berlin Lectures

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Sir Isaiah Berlin FBA; first delivered in 2001.
Subject/remit: an appraisal of the contemporary condition of any one of the fields of learning with which the Academy is concerned.
Nominating body: Events and Prizes Committee.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Elsley Zeitlyn Lectures on Chinese Archaeology and Culture

Origins: endowed through a bequest from Miss M H Zeitlyn; first delivered in 2001.
Subject/remit: Chinese archaeology, art and music.
Nominating body: specialist advisory committee.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society Lectures

Origins: first delivered in 2001 to mark the centenary of the British Psychological Society.
Subject/remit: Psychology, connected to an annual theme chosen by the BPS.
Nominating body: Section S6, in consultation with the BPS.
Current intended frequency: annual.

British Academy Law Lectures

Origins: established at the suggestion of the Academy's Law Section; first delivered in 2004.
Subject/remit:
on any legal subject other than jurisprudence, where relevant with an eye on practical policy issues.
Nominating body: Section S1.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Anglo-German Foundation Lectures

Origins: endowed by a grant from the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society; first delivered in 2011.
Subject/remit: modern industrial society, in particular with a public policy interest.
Nomination: in consultation with representatives of the former AGF.
Current intended frequency: annual (for six years in the first instance).

Lectures in Classics and Ancient History

Origins: a new lecture, first delivered in 2013.
Subject/remit: Classics and ancient history.
Nominating body: Section H1.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

British Academy/Sir John Cass's Foundation Lectures

Origins: endowed by the Sir John Cass's Foundation; first delivered in 2013.
Subject/remit: Management/business studies and Education, alternately.
Nominating body: Management/Business Studies group and Education group in rotation, in consultation with the Sir John Cass's Foundation.
Current intended frequency: annual (for five years in the first instance).

Anna Morpurgo Davies Lectures

Origins: in 2011, the British Academy and the Philological Society agreed to establish a joint lecture; first delivered in 2013; in 2014, the Academy and the Society agreed to name the  lecture series after Anna Morpurgo Davies FBA.
Subject/remit: Linguistics and philology.
Nominating body: Section H4, in consultation with the Philological Society.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.

Lectures in Modern Languages

Origins: a new lecture, first delivered in 2013.
Subject/remit: Modern Languages (covering both languages and literatures).
Nominating body:
joint lectures committee of Sections H5 & H6.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures on Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Origins: a new lecture, first delivered in 2014.
Subject/remit: Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Nominating body: Section H3.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures on the Novel in English

Origins: a new lecture, first delivered in 2014.
Subject/remit: the English novel.
Nominating body: joint lectures committee of Sections H5 & H6.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures in Politics and Government

Origins: a new lecture, first delivered in 2014.
Subject/remit: Politics and government studies.
Nominating body: Section S5.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures in Geography

Origins: a new lecture, to be first delivered in 2015.
Subject/remit: Geography.
Nominating body: Section S3.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures in Religious Studies

Origins: a new lecture, to be first delivered in 2015.
Subject/remit: Religious studies.
Nominating body: Section H2.
Current intended frequency: every 3 years.

Lectures in Sociology

Origins: a new lecture, to be first delivered in 2016.
Subject/remit: Sociology, demography, social statistics.
Nominating body: Section S4.
Current intended frequency: every 2 years.