Prestigious senior British Academy appointment for Nottingham Professor


September 1st, 2021

A Professor of French and Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham has been elected to a prestigious leading role at the British Academy.

Emeritus Professor Judith Still will take over as Vice-President (Humanities) of the British Academy, which champions the study of the humanities and social sciences in the UK. She will succeed Professor Aditi Lahiri from Oxford University in July 2022.

Professor Still has retired from teaching but is still active as a member of the Modern Languages and Linguistics panel in the current national research assessment exercise (REF). She continues to research in French Studies in the university’s School of Languages, Cultures and Area Studies. She works in the fields of 18th century as well as 20th and 21st century French thought, including the work of Rousseau, French feminism and the poststructuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida, and has authored books on Derrida and Hospitality and Enlightenment Hospitality. Her most recent monograph was Derrida and Other Animals: the Boundaries of the Human. She is currently working on the Franco-American farmer and philosopher J. Hector St John de Crèvecoeur (see her recent podcast 10-Minute Talks: Crèvecœur: what is an American? | The British Academy).

Professor Judith Still

Judith was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in July 2018, joining a community of more than 1,400 leading minds including Dame Mary Beard and Sir Simon Schama.

Reacting to her Vice-Presidency of Humanities, Judith said: “I was delighted to be offered this opportunity to get more involved in the Academy at a time which is both exciting, as I believe there is a renewed commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion at the Academy, and very challenging because of the threat to the arts and humanities nationally. At a moment when our attention is drawn to the extreme fragility of women’s rights (indeed human rights) globally, I feel deeply privileged to have had a mother and grandmothers who were able to support my education in spite of the precariousness of their own situations. I hope my biological and intellectual children will be proud of me and above all achieve their own potential.”

Head of the university’s School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, Professor Nicola McLelland, added: “It’s wonderful to see this recognition of Judith’s standing in the arts and humanities. I know Judith will bring outstanding energy and vision to this key leadership role in the British Academy, at a crucial time for the arts and humanities, the British Academy, and the academic community that it represents.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Professor Jeremy Gregory, said: “Congratulations to Judith on this very prestigious appointment. This is testimony both to her exceptional academic standing and to her outstanding record of leadership in the arts and humanities nationally and internationally.”

The British Academy is a funding body for research, nationally and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement.

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