New national prize named after Essex academic

  • Date

    Thu 19 Dec 19

Professor Pamela Cox

A new national prize from the Social History Society (SHS) has been named after an Essex academic in recognition of her role in increasing public understanding of social and cultural history.

Professor Pamela Cox, from the Department of Sociology, believes that historical evidence and experience gives us a vital perspective on current events. 

She is an advocate for sharing academic knowledge with wider audiences, and she has done this very successfully through television and through public policy.  Earlier this year she was involved in the Channel 5 series Edwardian Britain in Colour, which shed light on everyday life in Edwardian times, and previously she presented the BBC history series Servants (2012) and Shopgirls (2014). 

She is currently leading an ERSC-funded project on the history of victims’ roles in criminal trials, which uses historical evidence to address victims’ access to justice today. 

The Pamela Cox Public History Prize will be awarded to a postgraduate student or an early career researcher who can demonstrate excellence in taking their research out into the wider world. 

 “Our sense of our history, whether personal, local or national, is central to our sense of self and to our sense of our place in the world. Social history - like social science - is rooted in the idea that our personal histories are always connected to wider public histories. 

“This approach helps us to better understand social patterns, social tensions and social change. Cultural history offers insight into the narratives that shape and give expression to these patterns, tensions and changes.  

“It’s a real honour that the SHS has set up this new public history prize and I look forward to hearing more about the first submissions,” said Professor Cox. 

Professor Cox chaired the SHS for three years until earlier this year, and previously served on its executive committee and as chair of the editorial board for its journal Cultural and Social History. Nominations for the 2020 prize close on 1 February.