A member of the Study Skills team at the University of Chester has been awarded a major History prize.
Dr Chad McDonald, who works in the University’s Learning and Teaching Institute, has won the Social History Society’s 2020 Pamela Cox Public History Prize. The Prize is awarded to a postgraduate or early career researcher, who demonstrates excellence in taking their research beyond the academy.
Dr McDonald was awarded the Prize for James Parkes and the Age of Intolerance, a travelling exhibition he wrote, curated, and organised. The exhibition focuses on the neglected career of the Rev Dr James Parkes, a tireless Christian campaigner against antisemitism in all forms, including from within Christianity.
The exhibition has toured a range of religious and civic venues, including Lincoln and Winchester cathedrals and West London Synagogue. It was showcased during Southampton city’s Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Day event in 2019 and will return there for next year’s British Association for Jewish Studies conference.
Dr McDonald was inspired to create the exhibition during his PhD research, undertaken in connection with the Parkes Institute at the University of Southampton and Department of History at the University of Bristol. His PhD research explored the construction of Holocaust remembrance in Britain. Throughout his work, Dr McDonald became increasingly aware that Parkes’ tireless campaigning for European Jewry before, during, and after the Holocaust had only received limited public recognition.
The exhibition was created to help raise awareness of Parkes’ pioneering lifework. The judges praised the project for “raising diverse public awareness of the history of antisemitism” and agreed that it showed a real determination to use historical research for the public good.
Alongside the exhibition, Dr McDonald has organised a range of Holocaust memorial events and is the Social Media Editor for the internationally-renown journal Patterns of Prejudice.
Dr McDonald said: “I am delighted to win this prize, especially due to its focus on fostering dialogue with different audiences. In an age where intolerance is sadly all too common, I believe that bringing communities together and building bridges continues to be of the upmost importance.”