Loading articles...

American scholar Camilla Townsend wins McGill-run history writing prize

Last Updated Dec 3, 2020 at 2:08 pm EST

American scholar and author Camilla Townsend has won a US$75,000 history book prize from McGill University.

The professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey received the Cundill History Prize on Thursday for “Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs.”

The book draws from long-overlooked primary accounts of Indigenous people written in the language Nahuatl to challenge Eurocentric narratives about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century.

The jury hailed Townsend for recasting history “through the eyes of the Indigenous people themselves rather than those of their conquerors.”

The international Cundill prize, which is run by McGill University, recognizes non-fiction history writing in English.

The runners-up, who each receive US$10,000, are Harvard University professor Vincent Brown and British historian William Dalrymple.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press