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School of Social and Political Science: About


Professor Jonathan Spencer elected as a Fellow of the British Academy

On 19 July 2018, Jonathan Spencer, Regius Professor of South Asian Language, Culture and Society Professor, was elected as a British Academy Fellow, in recognition of his achievements in social research.

The Academy's citation recognised Spencer’s distinguished research at the intersection of religion and politics, and the impact of his writing internationally, across several disciplines, particularly in connection with post-colonial culture and politics, nationalism, history, education, Buddhism, and war and peace, mainly within the context of Sri Lanka and more broadly of South Asia. The Academy also paid tribute to Jonathan as a trenchant essayist on political anthropology and on the political history of his discipline.

Jonathan has degrees from the universities of Edinburgh, Chicago and Oxford, where he obtained his DPhil in 1986. He subsequently taught at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics, before returning to Edinburgh in 1990, where he became Professor of the Anthropology of South Asia. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2011, and since 2014 has been Regius Professor of South Asian Languages, Culture and Society at the University of Edinburgh. Jonathan was Head of the School of Social and Political Science in 2013, was Head of Social Anthropology in 2009-11, and was Director of the Graduate School of Social and Political Studies in 2000-5.

About the Fellowship

The British Academy is a fellowship of around 1,400 leading national and international academics elected for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences. Each year, the British Academy elects to its Fellowship up to 52 outstanding UK-based scholars who have achieved academic distinction as reflected in scholarly research activity and publication.

More information

Jonathan Spencer's profile on the School website

British Academy official page

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