Quentin Skinner Lectureship in Modern Intellectual History 2020-21

The Quentin Skinner Lectureship in Modern Intellectual History is intended for early career scholars (normally defined as within ten years of attaining the PhD). The Lecturer will be invited to give a lecture on a subject of their choosing in the broad field of intellectual history since 1500, including the history of political thought, and will organise a half-day colloquium to follow the lecture.

The Lecturer for 2019-20 is Dr Isaac Nakhimovsky (Department of History, Yale University); he will give his lecture on June 4, 2020. The Lectureship is the successor to the Balzan-Skinner Fellowship. For information about previous Quentin Skinner Lecturers and Balzan-Skinner Fellows and their events please click here.

The Quentin Skinner Lectureship will suit an early career scholar who is able to take sabbatical or unpaid leave from their employing institution, or whose post-doctoral position can accommodate a period of study in Cambridge. The Lecturer will receive an honorarium of £1000. The funds available for the Lectureship are not, however, able to support a ‘buy-out’ from teaching and other duties at the Lecturer's home institution. The Lecturer will not be employed by the University of Cambridge.

The Quentin Skinner Lecturer will hold a Visiting Fellowship at the University's Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) for a term during the 2020-21 academic year. An accommodation grant of up to £2,000 will be available to enable the Lecturer to be resident in Cambridge for this period (up to a maximum of twelve weeks), and a working space will be allocated in CRASSH. The Lecturer is encouraged to be in Cambridge for as much of the term as possible, although applicants are welcome to discuss obligations in relation to their home institution. The Lecturer will be a member of the CRASSH community of postdoctoral and visiting fellows, and will be expected to participate in Centre activities, in particular the weekly fellows' work in progress seminars (currently held over lunchtime on Mondays). The Lecturer is also encouraged to attend the Faculty of History's Political Thought and Intellectual History Seminar, which meets weekly on Mondays at 5pm.

The Quentin Skinner Lecture in modern intellectual history since c.1500, accompanied by a half-day colloquium, will be held by the close of June 2021. The Lecturer will organise this in conjunction with a member of the appointing Committee. Scholars working in related fields will be invited to comment formally on the theme of the Lecture, and the Quentin Skinner Lecturer will be asked to submit names of suitable participants to the appointing committee. Funding of up to £2,000 will be available for the colloquium. The lecture itself may be filmed and made available on the CRASSH website, subject to the Lecturer's permission.

The Lecturer is expected to offer the lecture for publication, subject to the normal external refereeing process, in a suitably extended and annotated form in The Historical Journal.


Scholars holding posts (irrespective of the source of funding) in institutions of higher education or research who are ideally in the early stages of their careers (normally at a stage no further than ten years beyond the award of the PhD) are eligible to apply. Those who are currently at Cambridge, employed by the University, one of its institutions, or one of the colleges, will not normally be considered.

The appointment will be made by the Quentin Skinner Lectureship Committee, and the Committee is keen to hear from those interested in holding the Lectureship and giving the lecture. Please contact Dr Chris Meckstroth to register your interest and ask any further questions. Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss their individual circumstances. The eventual choice may not be restricted to those who have applied.

Application procedure
No paper or emailed applications can be accepted. In order for your application to be considered by the Appointments Committee, we must receive a completed application via the online application system by the deadline, which is 12 noon GMT on Monday 25 November 2019.

Register or log in to your application on the right hand side of this page. Please contact us via email on fellowships@CRASSH.cam.ac.uk if you experience technical difficulties with the system or if you require further information about eligibility or provision.

The following information will be required:

  • A curriculum vitae (providing details of educational qualifications and publications, including work in progress and the names of two academic referees) uploaded in the Additional Material File
  • A brief (maximum 1,000 words) statement outlining a preliminary proposal for the Quentin-Skinner Lecture in the field Description
  • A sample chapter of written work (maximum 8Mb) to be uploaded as a PDF in the Additional Material File

To submit your completed application, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.  You can submit at any time up until the deadline, provided all fields have been completed.  You can log in to view and amend your application after submission.

Please note that uploaded documents MUST be PDF files, maximum file size 8Mb. The system will not allow you to submit your application without these.

The Appointing Committee will comprise the Chairman of the Faculty of History, the Director of CRASSH, an Editor of The Historical Journal, and three representatives of the Faculty's Political Thought and Intellectual History Subject Group. The successful candidate will be advised in December 2019.

The Quentin Skinner Lectureship is supported by CRASSH, the Faculty of History and Professor Quentin Skinner.


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