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Eric Hobsbawm and Birkbeck

Eric Hobsbawm (1917–2012) was one of the most influential historians of the twentieth century. He taught at Birkbeck for most of his life and remained President of the College until his death. Few scholars have embodied more persuasively what is at the heart of Birkbeck’s mission: a continued commitment to critical enquiry and political engagement. As he put it at the end of his remarkable autobiography Interesting Times: A Twentieth-Century Life (London, 2002): ‘The world will not get better on its own.’

At a time when Eric Hobsbawm’s legacy is as acutely relevant as it has ever been, the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck has established the Hobsbawm Scholarship Fund to support the next generation of historians in their pursuit of original research. The first Hobsbawm scholars graduated in 2016, and we have now announced the sixth round of scholarships. Scholarship recipients have gone on to pursue careers in academia, journalism and government. You can find out more about the Hobsbawm Scholarship Fund here. Please email Charlotte Belson or call 020 7380 3112 if you would like to support the fund.

The department hosts an annual public lecture in Eric Hobsbawm's memory. This year's lecture will be given by Professor Catherine Hall on 25 March 2020. More information will be available at our events page.

To mark the publication of Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History by Richard J. Evans, the department held, in collaboration with the Institute of Historical Research, a roundtable discussion with Richard J. Evans, Martin Jacques and Donald Sassoon. A podcast is available.

Find out more about Eric Hobsbawm and Birkbeck.