Oxford and Cambridge historians have been knocked off the top spot by Kingston University’s Dr Andrew Stedman, after he swiped the British International History Group’s prestigious thesis prize from under their noses.
The award, which has been held by Oxford or Cambridge history students since 2005, is made annually to a single PhD student and is highly respected amongst historians. “People often say they’re surprised when they win an award, but I am genuinely shocked,” Dr Stedman said. “I had an email from my Kingston lecturer, Professor Peter Beck, telling me I’d won. I just couldn’t believe it because I was up against such a strong field. I’m very honoured to have been chosen.”
Dr Stedman, 29, joined Kingston University in 2004 as a scholarship postgraduate student, and spent three years completing his prizewinning PhD thesis on the alternatives to appeasement during the 1930s.
Professor John Davis, Head of the School of Social Science, said Dr Stedman’s award was thoroughly deserved. “This kind of national recognition will be a real boost to his career, and it’s a credit both to Andrew and the University. He has a very promising future ahead,” he said.
Hailing from Blyth in Northumberland, Dr Stedman dedicated his award to Kingston University professors Peter Beck and John Davis, who supervised his thesis. “They went above and beyond the call of duty, not only with my work, but in helping me settle in when I moved to London,” he said.
Dr Stedman is currently lecturing part-time back home at the University of Newcastle, and will shortly be looking for a full-time teaching post.