Submissions for the 2021 Cundill History Prize have now closed

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Jason Opal - Chair of the Advisory Committee

Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University

Jason M. Opal is Associate Professor at McGill University, where he has taught since 2009. He studies colonial North America and the Caribbean, the American Revolution, and the early decades of the United States. His major works include Beyond the Farm: National Ambitions in Rural New England (2008), and Avenging the People: Andrew Jackson, the Rule of Law, and the American Nation (2017). His new projects are Most Noble Island: Three Ages of Barbados in the Early Americas and a collaborative project with his father, Dr. Steven M. Opal, on the history of epidemic diseases in American life. His recent writings have also appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, The Conversation, and Jacobin.

The Honourable Michael A. Meighen

Chancellor of McGill University

A graduate of McGill University and Université Laval, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1990. In his private career, Senator Meighen practiced litigation and commercial law in Montreal and Toronto. He is Counsel to the law firm Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright), and was Legal Counsel to the Deschênes Commission on War Criminals. He is Chairman of Cundill Funds (Vancouver) and sits on the McGill Board of Governors. In 2014, The Honourable Michael A. Meighen was appointed as the 19th Chancellor of McGill University.

Kit van Tulleken

Advisor, Kit van Tulleken LLP.

Kit van Tulleken is considered one of the pre-eminent independent advisers to publishing, information and data companies in the U.K., Europe and North America. Kit provides strategic, governance, and independent advice to CEOs, chairmen, senior executives, directors and entrepreneurs in the publishing, digital content and delivery sectors. Her clients derive from long-standing industry relationships. Her success is based on her industry knowledge, network of relationships, innovative ideas, an understanding of risk and compliance and, above all, discretion. Kit works exclusively in the media sector, using her network and market knowledge to benefit her clients.  Over the last 25 years, she has initiated and completed some 150 transactions.

Philip Cercone

Executive Director, McGill-Queen’s University Press

Philip Cercone worked for the Canada Council and was Director of the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program until 1985, whereupon he took up an academic appointment at McGill University as Executive Director and Editor-in-chief of McGill-Queen's University Press. He has contributed to peer-review panels on the funding of journals and books at the Canada Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and presided over organizations including the Association of Canadian Publishers and Association of American University Presses. He co-founded eBOUND Canada and as president of ACP in the early 1990s he spearheaded the creation of the Canada Book Fund at Heritage Canada, which to this day continues to financially support Canadian publishers.

Angela Martin Crowly

Senior Advisor, Advancement Affairs
Liaison to the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), McGill University

Angela has over 20 years of experience in the philanthropic sector, much of that time in higher education. She has worked at McGill for more than 10 years. Prior to her current mandate, Angela was Director of Development in the Faculty of Arts, held roles for several other portfolios at McGill, and, as Director of Strategic Advancement Initiatives, helped to define priorities and establish a plan for the university’s campaign. She has also worked at several other organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the University of Texas at Arlington. Angela holds three degrees from the University of California, Irvine and was a Fulbright scholar at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). She currently sits on the board of the Montreal Children’s Library.

Kari Cullen

Past Chair, Writers’ Trust of Canada

Kari Cullen is an award-winning documentary film producer and arts consultant. Kari sits on the Boards of the Festival des Arts de Saint Sauveur, and the Writers' Trust of Canada. She holds an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Journalism Degree from Carleton University.

Elizabeth Elbourne

Awards & Research Director, Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University

Elizabeth Elbourne is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill. Her work focuses on the history of Britain, the British empire, South Africa, British settler colonialism and global struggles over Indigenous rights. A book on settler colonialism and debates about the relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples from the American Revolution to the 1840s, seen through the eyes of three families, will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. A previous book, Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions, and the Contest for Christianity in Britain and the Eastern Cape, 1799-1852 won several awards. She is interested in editing and the craft of historical writing: she has worked as joint Editor in Chief of the Journal of British Studies, co-edited the collection Sex, Power and Slavery, and has been privileged to work closely with numerous graduate students.

John Fraser

Executive Chair, National NewsMedia Council, Canada

John Fraser is a Canadian journalist, author, academic, and inaugural president and now Executive Chair of Canada's National NewsMedia Council. As a journalist, John has received multiple awards, including the Michener Journalism Foundation lifetime achievement award for public service journalism. His work has been published in many leading national and international newspapers, magazines and digital platforms. From 1972 to 1987, John served in various capacities at The Globe and Mail; from 1987 to 1994, he was the editor of Saturday Night magazine. He was master of Massey College at the University of Toronto from 1995 to 2014 and is the founding patron of its Quadrangle Society as well as founding president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada. The author of twelve works of non-fiction and fiction, John continues his extensive journalism and book writing. He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2001 and has received five honorary degrees.

George Gibson

Executive Editor, Grove Atlantic

George Gibson is executive editor at Grove Atlantic. Prior to that he was publishing director of Bloomsbury USA. He has edited and/or published books by writers such as Dava Sobel, Ross King, Mark Kurlansky, Carol Anderson, Tom Standage, and Albert Woodfox.

Andrew Gordon

Literary Agent, David Higham Associates

Andrew Gordon is a literary agent at David Higham Associates in London, and a director of the company. He joined DHA in 2007, having spent the first fifteen years of his career on the publishing side, working in publicity at Hodder & Stoughton before moving to editorial at Little, Brown. In 2001 he moved to Simon & Schuster UK, rising to head of non-fiction. Andrew now represents a range of authors of both fiction and non-fiction, including leading journalists, commentators and historians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Brad Martin

Retired President and CEO, Penguin Random House of Canada

A graduate of McGill University (BA '77) and the University of Toronto (MA '80), Brad has worked in book publishing since 1981. He first started at McClelland and Stewart in sales, moving to Penguin Books Canada where he became President in 1996. In 1998 he moved to Bantam Doubleday Dell, which acquired Random House in 1999. In 2006 he became COO and in 2008 he was appointed President and CEO of Random House Canada. In 2013 Random House and Penguin merged and he became head of the merged company. Twice president of the Canadian Publishers Council and a member of the Board of the Writers Trust, Brad has served on various other publishing boards and committees over the years, including the McGill Arts Faculty Advisory Board and the Cundill Prize Advisory Board. He is currently retired and living in Prince Edward County making Pinot Noir and reading a few books .

Zoë Pagnamenta

Founder, Zoë Pagnamenta Agency

Zoë Pagnamenta is a literary agent of literary fiction and nonfiction. She founded her eponymous agency in New York in May, 2008. Previously, she spent five years as the director of the New York office of Peters, Fraser & Dunlop, and as an agent at The Wylie Agency in both New York and London. Zoë represents a range of literary fiction and non-fiction. Born in the US, but raised in the UK, Zoë has lived in New York for many years and works with a list of writers from both sides of the Atlantic, including winners of Bancroft, Samuel Johnson and Pulitzer Prizes, Cullman Center and Guggenheim Fellowships, PEN and Whiting Awards. She is a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.

Christopher Risso-Gill

Author, The Peter Cundill Foundation

Christopher Risso-Gill is an economics graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He began his career as an investment banker with Burns Fry. He was a friend of Peter Cundill's for over 40 years and served on the board of The Cundill Value Fund for 10 years. He is the author of two books about Peter Cundill: There's Always Something to Do and Routines and Orgies.

​Beverley Slopen

Literary Agent, Beverley Slopen Literary Agency

Beverley Slopen is a literary agent based in Toronto Canada where she represents more than 100 distinguished, internationally published authors of literary and commercial fiction and serious non-fiction ranging from history, anthropology, mathematics, philosophy, international affairs and memoir, true crime. She has long experience in North American publishing, for a time as a free-lance journalist for Time Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Toronto Star, and as a Canadian consultant to Book-of-Month Club. She regularly attends the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair, Book Expo America and has a network of international co-agents in various territories. 

Ryerson Symons

Partner, New York law firm Simpson Thacher

Ryerson Symons is a Partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett based in New York. His practice focuses on corporate matters and he regularly advises many of the world's leading private equity firms. Mr. Symons received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from McGill University in 1988, a Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1990 and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 1992.

Faith Wallis

Professor, History and Classical Studies

Faith Wallis is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies, jointly appointed in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. Her research focuses on the transmission of medical and scientific knowledge in the Middle Ages. Her anthology of translated sources, Medieval Medicine: a Reader, was published by University of Toronto Press in 2010, and she is presently preparing a full edition and translation of Alexander Neckam's De naturis rerum, an unusual "encyclopedia" of natural history composed at the turn of the 13th centuryProf. Wallis is a graduate of McGill (BA '71, MA '74) and received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1984. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the oldest functioning historical society in the world.