The Cundill History Prize in partnership with HistoryExtra are delighted to present:

The Cundill Lecture in History


On the Possibility of Changing our Minds

Camilla Townsend, 2020 Cundill History Prize Winner for Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs

Hosted by Noelani Arista, Director of Indigenous Studies, McGill University

In the Western imagination, the Aztecs have often figured as adorers of death: ferocious savages performing human sacrifices with glee, brutes steeped in blood epitomizing the very worst of humanity. This depiction is, in some senses, the fruit of the colonizers’ assessment at the time of conquest. But it is also an image that has persisted to this day, adapted and reenacted in our literature, movies and elsewhere — despite indigenous and other sources having nuanced the tale significantly for more than a century.

With this backdrop in mind, Camilla Townsend's lecture will explore two questions. First, why has the brutal image of the Aztecs lasted so long? And, second, what does reading sources written in the Aztecs' language teach us, not only about them, but about ourselves? A fascinating complement to her Cundill History Prize-winning book Fifth Sun, this talk is not to be missed.

Followed by a live audience Q&A.

Wednesday, December 1 | 13.00 ET / 18.00 GMT

Camilla Townsend Photographed For The Cundill History Prize Ahead Of The Festival Credit Esti Lamm
Townsend Camilla Fifth Sun
Rebecca Clifford Credit  Yale University Press
Marie Favereau Credit  Cundill History Prize
Kars Marjoleine Tim Ford Umbc

The Cundill History Prize in partnership with CBC Ideas are delighted to present:

The Cundill Forum


Rebecca Clifford, 2021 Cundill History Prize finalist for Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust

Marie Favereau, 2021 Cundill History Prize finalist for The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World

Marjoleine Kars, 2021 Cundill History Prize finalist for Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast

Moderated by twice Cundill History Prize juror Catherine Desbarats

"Rewriting history." The phrase can conjure real dangers: facts erased; facts invented; distorted stories, used for partisan pruposes. Yet at the same time, rewriting history is the very business of historians, whose research can abolutely upend our most long-held ideas of the past.

One approach selectively fabricates and discards; the other rigorously completes and complexifies. But what exactly is at stake in each case? What are we to do when faithless interpretations masquerade as fact? And when either is as likely to end up on our bookshelves?

In its third year, the Cundill Forum invites our three finalists to draw on their own expertise to consider the significance of revisiting our histories in fractious times. Each panelist has unsettled our sense of the past, in books about the enslaved rebels of Berbice, the children of the Holocaust, the mobile Mongol empire. Now, together, they will explore just how and why we rewrite history — and the challenges and opportunities involved in taking another look.

Wednesday, December 1 | 16.30 ET / 21.30 GMT

The Cundill History Prize and HistoryHit are delighted to present:

The 2021 Winner Ceremony

With Michael Ignatieff, 2021 Chair of the Jury, the 2021 Finalists Rebecca Clifford, Marie Favereau and Marjoleine Kars

Hosted by CBC Ideas' Nahlah Ayed, with live interviews by History Hit's Dan Snow

Canadian journalist and host of CBC Ideas Nahlah Ayed host from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this special ceremony marking the culmination of the 2021 Cundill History Prize season.

History Hit's Dan Snow will interview the finalists live from where they are, before Jury Chair Michael Ignatieff makes the much-anticipated final announcement. Jurors Eric Foner, Henrietta Harrison, Sunil Khilnani, and Jennifer L. Morgan will also feature.

Thursday, December 2 | 13.00 ET / 18.00 GMT

Join the event HERE.

Nahlah Ayed2017
Dan Snow Chalke Valley
Ceu President And Rector Michael Ignatieff  Image Credit Ceu Daniel Vegel 3
Rebecca Clifford Credit  Yale University Press
Marie Favereau Credit  Cundill History Prize
Kars Marjoleine Tim Ford Umbc
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