The Centre for All Canadians

2018 Symons Medallist:

Dr. Margaret MacMillan, historian


Confederation Centre of the Arts was pleased to award the 2018 Symons Medal to internationally-acclaimed historian and author Professor Margaret MacMillan, on November 23, 2018



Professor of history at the University of Oxford and former Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Dr. MacMillan is one of the world’s most distinguished specialists in modern international history. Her research focus is British imperial history, international history of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the causes of war, specifically World War One. She is known as a historian whose published work is engaging for both experts and general audiences. Her many publications include Paris, 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, and History’s People: Personalities and the Past. Among her many awards and accolades, Dr. MacMillan is a Companion of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and holds seven honourary degrees; she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize (now The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction). Also known for her insightful contributions to public discourse, she is a sought-after commentator on pressing international issues of our time.

The BBC announced Professor MacMillan as the 2018 BBC Reith Lecturer, an internationally renowned series now celebrating its 70th year. She will deliver five lectures in June 2018 exploring the relationship between humanity and war in London, York, Beirut, Belfast and Toronto, which will then be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service.

Dr. MacMillan was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford.  She was a member of Ryerson University’s History Department for 25 years, Provost of Trinity College at the University of Toronto from 2002 to 2007, and Warden of St Antony’s College and Professor of International History at the University of Oxford from 2007 to 2017. She is an Emeritus Professor of International History at the University of Oxford, Professor of History at the University of Toronto, the Xerox Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs.

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