In conversation with Chair of the Wolfson History Prize

In conversation with the Chair of the Wolfson History Prize judges, Professor Sir David Cannadine

June 2016

Earlier this year we announced several exciting developments in relation to the longstanding Wolfson History Prize, including the appointment of our new Chair of the Judges, Professor Sir David Cannadine. With just a few days to go until the 2016 Wolfson History Prize, Sir David spoke about his new role...

  How long have you been involved with the Wolfson History Prize?

  I have been a judge since 2002, and have recently become chair.

  Is it daunting becoming Chair of the Prize, especially stepping into the
  shoes of Sir Keith Thomas who had held the position for so long?

  Yes, indeed it is. Keith was a judge for 40 years and chair of the judges for 20;
  so he is a hard act to follow.

  What role is there for an award such as the Wolfson History Prize in
  2016?

  The same as there has always been: history is essential to any healthy society,
  and the Wolfson Prize recognizes history which is of a high scholarly standard
  and written to reach a broad public audience.


Are there are too many book prizes in your opinion?

I have no idea; but the Wolfson Prize is special, unique and widely esteemed.

How does the Prize complement the other activities of the Wolfson Foundation, of which you are also a Trustee?

In addition to our support of science and medicine and schools, the Wolfson Foundation is strongly committed to the humanities, as evidenced by our postgraduate scholarship scheme and our support for the British Academy Wolfson Professorships. The Wolfson History Prize is another example of our support for the humanities.

What excites you most about the new emerging generation of historians?

History is never over; there are always new questions to ask, new approaches to develop, and new and emerging historians to open up new fields of inquiry.

The winners of the 2016 Wolfson History Prize will be announced on Wednesday 15 June 2016. You can follow the awards ceremony as it happens and connect via #WolfsonHistoryPrize and facebook.com/WolfsonHistoryPrize

Media enquiries: please contact Alex Hippisley-Cox at ahipcoxpr@btconnect.com