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Simon Schama

Columbia University

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University. He is the author of fourteen books translated into twenty languages, the writer-presenter of forty television films for the BBC, PBS and the History Channel, and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. Born in London in 1945 he was educated at Cambridge University where he then taught history from 1966 to 1976. Subsequently he has taught at Oxford University and Harvard before going to Columbia in 1993. His books include The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (1987); Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989); the short fiction Dead Certainties (Unwarranted Speculations) (1991) Landscape and Memory, (1995), the History of Britain trilogy (1999-2001); Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution (2005) (which was also turned into a stage play by Caryl Phillips performed in London and 3 other British cities, into a BBC film, and a performance piece staged at Symphony Space and the Up South Festival in Harlem);  Hang-Ups: Essays onPainting (mostly) The Power of Art, (2007) and most recently The American Future: A History (2009).

His work has won the NCR prize for nonfiction in the UK; the W.H.Smith prize in literature (for Landscape and Memory); American Academy of Arts and Letters award for literature and the National Book Critics Circle Award (for Rough Crossings). He has twice won the British Broadcast Press Guild prize for his television work and an Emmy for his film on Bernini in The Power of Art. In 1996 he won the National Magazine Award for his art criticism in The New Yorker.

His critical essays have appeared in The Guardian, the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The New Yorker where he was art critic from 1995 to 1998; and currently in The Financial Times. A collection of these essays will be published as Scribble, Scribble, Scribble, in spring 2011.

In 2002 he was honored with a C.B.E by the Queen for services to literature.