Two authors of Indian heritage, UK-based Nandini Das and US-based Kris Manjapra, are amongst six worldwide writers on the shortlist unveiled in London on Tuesday for the 2023 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, a number one worldwide non-fiction prize value GBP 25,000.
India-born Nandini Das is within the working for ‘Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire’ and Caribbean-born Manjapra of combined African and Indian parentage has been shortlisted for ‘Black Ghost of Empire: The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation’.
The prize, now in its eleventh yr, is open to authors of any nationality based mostly anyplace on the earth and dealing in any language offered the nominated work is on the market in English and printed within the UK. It celebrates research-based works of non-fiction which have made an impressive contribution to the general public understanding of world cultures and the methods during which they interconnect.
“We were greatly impressed by the exceptional quality of writing in this year’s shortlist and the ability of the authors to unearth extraordinary new discoveries and to find new perspectives on old perceptions,” mentioned Professor Charles Tripp, Fellow of the British Academy and chair of the 2023 jury.
Ms. Das, in her 40s, is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture within the English school on the University of Oxford. She was introduced up in India and studied at Jadavpur University in Kolkata earlier than shifting to England for additional examine. Her shortlisted work has been praised by the judges as a “ground-breaking” debut.
“This beautifully written book tells the story of England’s first diplomatic mission to India in the early 1600s, through a combination of biography and historical narrative, alternating microscopic details with broader panoramas,” the judges observe.
“As we learn how the Mughals and English understood and misunderstood each other, we appreciate how Das’s shifting perspective reveals important insights into global connections and changing power dynamics in this pivotal period of world history,” they mentioned.
Mr. Manjapra, additionally in his 40s, grew up in Canada and is now Stearns Trustee Professor of History and Global Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. His shortlisted work examines the sluggish, drawn-out loss of life of slavery and the failure of emancipation.
“Written with restrained passion, this is a detailed and disturbing account of the false dawn of emancipation that accompanied the formal abolition of slavery in the 19th century,” learn the judges’ feedback.
“Set against the enormity of the transatlantic slave trade and the myths surrounding its ending, this book gives life and memory to the enslaved, identifies the forces that built new systems of servitude in the aftermath of slavery, and argues forcefully against the disavowal of these ghosts in our social order,” they mentioned.
The different writers on the 2023 shortlist embody France-based Daniel Foliard for ‘The Violence of Colonial Photography’, exploring the function of pictures within the historical past of British and French imperialism; Spain-based Irene Vallejo ‘Papyrus: The Invention of Books within the Ancient World’ which chronicles literary tradition within the historical world; UK-based journalist Tania Branigan for ‘Red Memory’, unearthing rarely-heard tales from China; and US-based anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas for ‘Ritual: How Seemingly Senseless Acts Make Life Worth Living’.
The winner of the GBP 25,000 prize will likely be introduced at an awards ceremony in London on October 31, when every of the shortlisted writers will obtain GBP 1,000.
The 2023 judging panel for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding is made up of Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed FBA, Visiting Professor on the Middle East Centre on the London School of Economics; Professor Rebecca Earle, meals historian and Professor of History on the University of Warwick; Fatima Manji, award-winning broadcaster; and Professor Gary Younge Hon, the award-winning creator, broadcaster and Professor of Sociology on the University of Manchester.