Justin Champion announced as new HA President, 2014

Published: 20th June 2014

We are delighted to announce that Professor Justin Champion was confirmed as President to succeed Professor Jackie Eales at the AGM on 16 May 2014.

Justin is a strong advocate of public history and is involved with the HA's Public History Committee. He is Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway College, London University, where he was previously Head of Department. Alongside his university career Justin has a strong broadcast career and is well known for his work on TV and radio, he has presented programmes on the Great Plague and the history of duelling. He is a regular contributor to Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time Series and recently appeared with Lucy Worsley discussing the racy poetry of the Restoration court.

On his appointment we asked him a few questions:

How long have you been involved with the HA?

"My first memory of connecting was attending an HA meeting either in Southampton, or possibly the Isle of Wight, on Charles' captivity at Carisbrooke castle. My history school teacher Mr May (sadly no longer with us) was an HA enthusiast and encouraged us to attend as many meetings as possible. The other means was through consumption of the brilliant HA pamphlets (I have a huge collection accumulated over the years ) I can still recall the excitement on discovering a new title which was relevant for an essay or research area."

What are you most looking forward to achieving as President of the HA?

"I'd really like to make the conversations between historians in the universities, teachers, the fledgling historians in the schools, and the great number of enthusiast in the branches more profound and helpful. Academic historians have a great privilege, and I'd like to encourage them to recognise the great opportunities the HA provides for extending their audiences and conversations." 

What is your favourite subject in history?

"The English Civil war and the libertinism of the court of Charles II"

What have you been working on recently?

"A few Chapters on Sophia electress of Hannover, England's forgotten queen, a study of radical printers in the 1650's and the promotion of argument for religious toleration, and a book on Thomas Hobbes!"

Over the summer we'll be putting up a full interview from Justin covering a number of themes - look out for that.

Finally, it is sad that the arrival of a new President means the departure of another, and we would like to thank Professor Jackie Eales who has been HA President for the last few years. Jackie has been an innovative and supportive President and we hope she will continue to be involved with the work of the HA. Her farewell podcast will be available from the beginning of July.