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Editorial, British Academy Review, Summer 2017

Welcome to this Summer 2017 issue of the British Academy Review.

Published in British Academy Review, No. 30 (Summer 2017).


We seem to be forever faced with our world changing rapidly around us. This issue has been sent to press the day before the General Election, so the affairs of the world will have moved on once more by the time you read this. How we understand change – and manage it – is a major theme in Lord Stern’s article, as he reflects on the four years of his Presidency. Professor Colin Mayer FBA emphasises the importance of the business world meeting the needs of society, in the context of profound technological change. And Chief Executive Alun Evans offers an overview of a year of significant developments in higher education, and looks forward to the challenges of planning for Brexit.

Amidst these cycles of change, so much of the work of the British Academy is about continuing to nurture the best academics in the humanities and social sciences. This issue contains two articles arising from our schemes to support senior academics – both on topics related to ‘Peoples of South America’ (articles by Mark Harris and Peter Wade). And in the ‘Emerging Perspectives’ section, we celebrate our truly life-changing Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme. Two of the articles by these early career academics consider aspects of India’s past, in this 70th anniversary of that nation’s independence (articles by Bihani Sarkar and Martin J Bayly).

There is always time for the timeless. Dame Hermione Lee FBA captures our unending fascination with the lives and works of the literary greats. And Professor Stefan Collini FBA reveals how, a hundred years ago, it was still just possible for one person to grasp some appreciation of what was being done across all the disciplines that we now call the humanities and social sciences.

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