David Armitage, MA, PhD, LittD, CorrFRSE, FRHistS, FAHA, MAE, is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History and former Chair of the Department of History and of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University, where he teaches intellectual history and international history. He is currently a Senior Scholar of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, an Affiliated Faculty Member at Harvard Law School, an Affiliated Professor in the Harvard Department of Government, an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, an Honorary Professor of History at Queen's University Belfast and an Honorary Professor of History at the University of Sydney.
He was born in Britain and educated at the University of Cambridge and Princeton University; before moving to Harvard in 2004, he taught for eleven years at Columbia University. A prize-winning teacher and writer, he has lectured on six continents and has held research fellowships and visiting positions in Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany, South Korea and the United States. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Canonbury, London.
David Armitage is the author or editor of eighteen books, most recently Civil Wars: A History in Ideas (2017). Among his earlier works are The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000), which won the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007), which was chosen as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, Foundations of Modern International Thought (2013) and The History Manifesto (co-auth., 2014), a New Statesman Book of the Year and one of the Chronicle of Higher Education's most influential books of the past 20 years. His most recent edited books are A Cultural History of Peace in the Age of Enlightenment (co-ed., 2020), Oceanic Histories (co-ed., 2018), The Law of Nations in Global History (co-ed., 2017) and Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People (co-ed., 2014). He is completing an edition of John Locke’s colonial writings and is working on a global history of treaty-making and treaty-breaking and on a study of opera and international law. His articles and essays have appeared in journals, newspapers and collections around the world and his works have been translated into fifteen languages.
He co-edits two book series with Cambridge University Press, Ideas in Context and Cambridge Oceanic Histories, he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Center for the History of British Political Thought at the Folger Shakespeare Library and a Trustee of the Wiles Trust at Queen's University Belfast, and for many years he was a Syndic of the Harvard University Press. In 2006, the National Maritime Museum in London awarded him its Caird Medal for “conspicuously important work ... of a nature that involves communicating with the public” and in 2008 Harvard named him a Walter Channing Cabot Fellow for “achievements and scholarly eminence in the fields of literature, history or art”. In 2015, he received Cambridge University's highest degree, the LittD, for “distinction by some original contribution to the advancement of science or of learning”. He is a Corresponding Member of the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; and a Foreign Member of the Academia Europaea.
He is on sabbatical for the academic year 2022-23.
Photo credit: Lauren McLaughlin