Nobel winner Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah becomes Honorary Fellow of the British Academy

The University offers its warmest congratulations to Nobel Laureate and Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures Abdulrazak Gurnah, who has been made an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Gurnah, along with 85 other newly elected Fellows, joins a community of over 1,600 distinguished intellectuals to become part of the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. The latest cohort of Fellows highlights the depth and breadth of the SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) disciplines and reflects the importance of interdisciplinary research.

A highly acclaimed novelist, Professor Gurnah was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2021 for ‘his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents’.

In 2022, he was made a Doctor of Letters by the University for his distinguished contribution to literature and his reflections and portrayal of the effects of colonialism, the theme of the refugee’s disruption, and the human experiences of a cross-continental journey. He taught in the School of English for many years.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said: ‘With the vast expertise and wide-ranging insights brought by our new Fellows, the Academy continues to showcase the importance of the SHAPE disciplines in opening fresh seams of knowledge and understanding, while simultaneously advancing the well-being and prosperity of societies worldwide.’

Current Honorary Fellows include Professor David Olusoga, Baroness Brenda Hale, and Professor Gary Younge.