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British Academy elects Birkbeck academics to Fellowship

Three Birkbeck academics recognised for their achievements in the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Esther Leslie

The British Academy has announced the 76 academics that have been selected as some of the leading minds and voices in the field of humanities and social sciences. Featured in the list are three Birkbeck academics; Professor Susan James, Professor Esther Leslie and Professor Julia Lovell.

Professor James is a professor of Philosophy. She joined Birkbeck in 2000, after completing BA, MA and PhD degrees in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy, political and social philosophy and feminist philosophy. Professor James has held research positions in Israel, Germany, Australia and America and has recently published an essay collection, Spinoza on Learning to Live Together (OUP; 2019).

Professor Leslie is a professor in Political Aesthetics in the Department of English and Humanities and co-director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. She has research interest in Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno. Her most recent publication was Deeper in Pyramid (Grand Union; 2018).

Professor Lovell is a professor in Modern Chinese History and Literature and has taught at Birkbeck since 2007. Her research has focused on the relationship between culture (including literature, architecture, historiography and sport) and modern Chinese nation-building. In 2019 she published Maoism: A Global History (Bodley Head), which explores the way Maoist culture and politics transcended borders to become an international political force between the 1940s and the present day.

The three professors will join a group of 1400 academics who make up the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy, said:

“The British Academy has always recognised pioneering research in the humanities and social sciences, and 2019 is no exception. This year we have elected a particularly multi-skilled and versatile cohort of Fellows whose research crosses conventional academic boundaries.”

“I extend my warmest welcome and heartiest congratulations to all our new Fellows, Corresponding Fellows and Honorary Fellows. I look forward to working with these outstanding scholars to build on the Academy’s excellent and ever-expanding record of achievement.”

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