Chair of this year’s non-fiction judging panel, Richard Drayton is a Guyana-born historian, and Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College, London. Drayton’s publications include Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World (2000); he also co-edits the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies series with Megan Vaughan. The historian’s academic history includes studies as a Barbados Scholar at Harvard University; a Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at Cambridge University. Nature’s Government received the 2001 Forkosch Prize of the American Historical Association, for the best book in British and British Imperial History, from 1999 to 2001. In 2002, Drayton was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Modern History.
The Leverhulme Trust describes Nature’s Government as spanning “the fields of botany, science, ideas, political economy and empire. It has attracted international attention and praise, not only from historians, but also from scholars in a wide range of fields. The book combines breadth of scope with meticulous detail, placing political and scientific history in its deeper cultural setting.”
Where can you see Richard Drayton at this year’s festival?
- Friday, 26th April: A discussion with Pankaj Mishra on the new post-imperial history. (10–11.30 am, AV Room)