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Professor Marina Warner awarded British Academy Medal

The Medals are awarded for landmark academic achievement in any of the humanities and social science disciplines supported by the Academy.

Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, is among those to be honoured by the British Academy for services to academia, with the award of a British Academy Medal. The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, and the Medals are awarded for landmark academic achievement in any of the humanities and social science disciplines supported it.

Warner is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and President of the Royal Society of Literature. She was made DBE in 2015, and the same year was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities. She has also been a writer since she was young, specialising in mythology and fairy-tales with an emphasis on the part women play in them.

She said: “I am surprised and honoured to be given a British Academy Medal. As one of the fortunate generation born and raised in the post-war welfare state in the UK, I would like to remember the education I received, free, at Oxford, and the support my writing has been given throughout, chiefly by women who have found ways to convey their values and achieve positions of influence. 

“The arts and humanities are the preeminent forum for hard questions and fresh, true ideas, and extend a vision of interconnectedness across languages and ethnicities. May they continue to flourish and shine their light! If I can be part of that, I will be happy.”  

Others being honoured by the British Academy this year include Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and radio presenter Claudia Hammond.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy, will host a ceremony in central London today.  He said: “We are thrilled to present this year’s awards to such an outstanding group. This year’s winners, be they academics, broadcasters, writers or entrepreneurs, have all demonstrated excellence in their respective fields. They have blazed new trails through their disciplines, shown dedication of the highest order and, through their work, furthered understanding of what it means to be human.”  

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