Public History Prize Winner 2020

The Social History Society’s Public History Prize recognises activities that enhance public understanding of social and cultural history. It was established as a mark of gratitude to our outgoing chair, Professor Pamela Cox, who was tireless in efforts to open dialogue between the society and different audiences.

The prize is awarded to a postgraduate student or an early career researcher who can demonstrate excellence in taking their research beyond the academy.

Our judging committee was chaired by Professor Cox and included Dr Georgina Brewis (our Honorary Secretary) and Dr Henry Irving (our Communications Secretary).

The winner of the 2020 Public History Prize is Dr Chad McDonald for the exhibition ‘James Parkes and the age of intolerance’.

Chad McDonald with the James Parkes and the Age of Intolerance exhibition.

Chad McDonald’s recently completed PhD explores British confrontations with the Holocaust after the Second World War. He has organised Holocaust Memorial events, is social media editor for the journal Patterns of Prejudice and wrote, curated and organised the exhibition on which his application was based.

The exhibition ‘James Parkes and the age of intolerance’, focuses on the neglected career of Rev Dr Parkes, who was a prominent Christian campaigner against antisemitism from the 1920s. The exhibition has toured a range of religious and civic venues and was due to open at the Wiener Library, before Covid-19 intervened.

The judges praised the project for ‘raising diverse public awareness of the history of antisemitism’ and agreed that it showed a real determination to use historical research for the public good.

You can watch an interview between Chad McDonald and Pamela Cox here.

Want to find out more? Chad has also written a blog about his exhibition for our Research Exchange.