Cundill History Prize 2021: news, jurors, shortlist and winner

Find out the latest news on the 2021 Cundill History Prize, a leading international prize that recognises the best history writing in English…

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This page is regularly updated with news about the 2021 Cundill History Prize

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Submissions are now closed for the 2021 Cundill History Prize and the jurors (more below) will be reading the 2021 submissions over the summer months, before meeting in a series of video conference calls to deliberate on the longlist. The shortlist will be announced in September, followed by the finalists announcement in October. The winner will be named in early December 2021. Check back for further updates in autumn 2021

What is the Cundill History Prize?

The Cundill History Prize, awarded annually since 2008, is an international prize of US$75,000, that rewards the best history writing in English. Books awarded the annual prize embody “historical scholarship, originality, literary quality and broad appeal”. Any historical period or subject is eligible, and translations into English are welcomed.

The 2021 chair and jurors

The jurors will be reading the 2021 submissions over the summer months, before meeting in a series of video conference calls to deliberate on the longlist, the shortlist of eight, the three finalists and, ultimately, the one winner of the US$75,000 prize, administered by McGill University.

The 2021 prize is chaired by Michael Ignatieff, a historian, author, university professor and former Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Joining Ignatieff on this year’s panel is Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University; Henrietta Harrison, Professor of Modern Chinese History, Oxford University; Sunil Khilnani, Professor of History and Politics at Ashoka University, Sonipat; and Jennifer L. Morgan, Professor of History in the department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.

Who has won the Cundill History Prize before?

The winner of the 2020 Cundill History Prize was Camilla Townsend’s Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, a new look at the lives of the Aztecs in their own words, and 2019’s winner was Maoism: A Global History by Julia Lovell. Lovell followed Harvard Professor Maya Jasanoff (2018), and British historian Daniel Beer (2017). Find out more about the previous winners.

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Listen: We speak to historian Camilla Townsend, who recently won the Cundill History Prize for her book Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs on this episode of the HistoryExtra podcast