Leslie Stephen Lecture 2018: Liberalism, populism and the fate of the world by Sir Simon Schama

Date & timeMonday, 15 October 5:30pm - 6:30pm
LocationSenate House, Cambridge
CostNo charge
Dress code None

Event Information

Sir Simon Schama, Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College and University Professor of Art History and History, Columbia University, will deliver the next Leslie Stephen Lecture in the Senate House; ‘Liberalism, populism and the fate of the world’. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception which will take place in the Combination Room at The Old Schools.

Speaker Bio

Sir Simon Schama CBE is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature and Contributing Editor at the Financial Times.

He is the author of eighteen books which have been translated into 16 languages and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2 and PBS. He was art critic for the New Yorker in the 1990s and won a National Magazine Award for his art criticism in 1996, published as Hang-Ups, Essays on Painting (Mostly) His film on Bernini from the Power of Art series won an International Emmy and his series on A History of Britain and The American Future. A History won Broadcast Critics Guild Awards. His art history work also includes Rembrandt’s Eyes, (1999) The Power of Art,(2006) and The Face of Britain (2015).

He has published a work of fiction, Dead Certainties: (Unwarranted Speculations) and his work for the theatre includes the stage adaptation of Rough Crossings (with Caryl Phillips) for Headlong Theatre,  and in 2011, a short play for Headlong’s site-specific production about 9/11, Decade.

He won the NCR nonfiction prize for Citizens. A Chronicle of the French Revolution; the WH Smith Literary Award for Landscape and Memory, and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States for Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution. His latest book, Belonging, volume 2 of The Story of the Jews was short-listed for the Baillie-Gifford Prize and was among The Economist Magazine’s Best Books of 2017. In 2011 he received the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement and in 2015 the Premio Antonelli Feltrinelli in historical sciences from the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. He has delivered the Andrew W Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery in Washington DC in 2006 on “Really Old Masters: Infirmity and Reinvention”, and the Anthony Hecht Lectures in the humanities at Bard College on memory in contemporary art; and most recently the Jerusalem Lectures for the Israel Historical Society. He curated the Government Art Collection exhibition “Travelling Light” at the Whitechapel Gallery and “The Face of Britain” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2015, in conjunction with a 4-part television series and a best-selling book. His most recent book (2017) is Belonging. He has collaborated with Anselm Kiefer, John Virtue, Cecile B Evans and Damien Hirst on exhibitions and catalogue essays. His latest series on world art history, Civilisations, was broadcasted in the spring of 2018.

Booking and Cost

There is no charge to attend this lecture and advanced booking is not required. Please arrive at Senate House ready for a prompt start time of 5.30pm.

This lecture is open to all to attend.


Leslie Stephen Lecture: The Senate House, Cambridge.

Drinks Reception: The Combination Room, The Old Schools.


If you have any queries, please contact Emma Grieveson on alumnioffice@trinhall.cam.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1223 332550.