Quentin Skinner

Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities

Queen Mary, University of London

Quentin Skinner works on early-modern European intellectual history, with a particular interest in the rhetorical culture of the Renaissance and the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.  He has also written about a number of philosophical questions, including the nature of interpretation and historical explanation, and about several issues in contemporary political theory, including the concept of political liberty and the character of the State.

Professor Skinner joined Queen Mary in 2008.  He began his career at Cambridge, where he was appointed a Lecturer in History in 1965.  He was at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton between 1974 and 1979, after which he returned to Cambridge, first as Professor of Political Science (1979-1996) and thereafter as Regius Professor of History (1996-2008).  He has also held visiting appointments in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany and the United States.

Professor Skinner’s scholarship is available in 24 languages, and has won him numerous prizes, including the Balzan Prize, the Wolfson Prize, the Bielefelder Wissenschaftspreis, the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize and the Benjamin Lippincott and David Easton Awards of the American Political Science Association.  He is the holder of Honorary degrees from the Universities of Aberdeen, Athens, Chicago, East Anglia, Harvard, Helsinki, Leuven, Oslo, Oxford, Santiago and St. Andrews.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Historical Society and the Academia Europea, and a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Irish Academy, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and the Österreichische Academie der Wissenschaften.