Indian-origin Mahmood Mamdani shortlisted for British Academy Book Prize
Mumbai-born Ugandan author Mahmood Mamdani has been shortlisted for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. Mamdani is a professor at Columbia University and is married to popular Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair.
Mahmood Mamdani, the Mumbai-born Ugandan academic and writer, was shortlisted for the 2021 British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding on Tuesday. Mamdani is among the four authors who have been selected for the GBP 25,000 non-fiction prize.
According to a media release by the British Academy, Mahmood Mamdani, 75, has been shortlisted for his book ‘Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities’. Mamdani describes the study as “an in-depth inquiry into political modernity, colonial and postcolonial, and an exploration of the roots of violence that has plagued post-colonial society”.
Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in the study of African history and politics. He is also the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) in Uganda.
Mahmood Mamdani is married to popular Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair.
In the book ‘Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities, Mahmood Mamdani has set out a “powerful and original” argument that the nation-state and the colonial state created each other, according to the British Academy.
“An original and forcefully argued book that explores how the development of the colonial and postcolonial nation-state has produced ‘permanent minorities’, who are then victimized as existing outside national belonging,” the judges of the prize said in reference to his book.
“The book is particularly strong in exploring the consequences of this problem, here shown to have caused extreme xenophobic violence in various postcolonial situations. Mamdani makes a convincing case for the necessary reimagining of politics that has to happen before the situation can be improved. A valuable book on an issue of outstanding importance,” they noted.
Others on the shortlist include Sri Lankan-born Cambridge historian Sujit Sivasundaram for ‘Waves across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire’; Scotland-based Cal Flynn for ‘Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape’; Eddie S Glaude Jr for ‘Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Today’.
The winner will be announced on October 26.