Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History

The Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History

The Harmsworth Professorship was established by the 1st Viscount Rothermere in memory of his son Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth (known as Vyvyan), who died aged 23 whilst serving in the First World War. Vyvyan Harmsworth (1894-1918) went to Eton in 1908 and then to Christ Church, Oxford in 1913. He left Oxford in 1914 to serve in the Irish Guards, gaining the rank of Captain. He was wounded several times before dying of his wounds in February 1918. He is buried at Hampstead Cemetery. 

Because of the Rothermere’s family long standing connection to the United States, Viscount Rothermere gave an endowment of £20,000 to the University of Oxford for the support of a Professorship of American History as a memorial to his eldest son. One of the conditions is that the Chair must be a citizen of the United States.

The Professorship makes Oxford unique among British universities by enabling a distinguished American historian to spend a year in Oxford teaching, researching and leading seminars. Inaugurated in 1922 and associated with Queen's College, the Professorship has been held by many of America's most eminent historians and is tenable on a year-long basis. Since 2001, the Harmsworth Professor has also been affiliated to the RAI.

The Professor’s inaugural lecture takes place each November. A volume collecting the lectures from 1922 to 2010 has been collated by the RAI and is available in the Vere Harmsworth Library and Queen's College Library.

There are two other memorial positions held in the Harmsworth name at the RAI, tenable for three years for scholars at an early career stage. The current Captain Hon. Harold Alfred Vyvyan St. George Harmsworth Graduate Scholar is Ella St George Carey. The Vere Sidney Tudor Harmsworth Junior Research Fellowship, held by Dr Alice Kelly from 2016-19, was a three-year memorial fellowship to the second son of the Viscount Rothermere, who was killed aged 21 in November 1916 whilst serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. 

Previous Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professors of American History

2022-23: Bruce Schulman (Boston)
2021-22: Patrick Griffin (Notre Dame)
2019-20: Peter Mancall (Southern California)
2018-19: Barbara Savage (Pennsylvania)
2017-18: Elliott West (Arkansas)
2016-17: Alan Taylor (Virginia)
2015-16: Kristin Hoganson (Illinois)
2014-15: Annette Gordon-Reed (Harvard)
2013-14: Richard Blackett (Vanderbilt)
2012-13: Gary Gerstle (Vanderbilt)
2011-12: Philip Morgan (Johns Hopkins)
2010-11: Ian Tyrrell (New South Wales)
2009-10: Robin Kelley (Southern California)
2008-9: Peter Onuf (Virginia)
2007-8: Lizabeth Cohen (Harvard)
2006-7: Linda Kerber (Iowa)
2005-6: Kathryn Kish Sklar (Binghamton)
2004-5: Joel Silbey (Cornell)
2003-4: Richard Beeman (Pennsylvania)
2002-3: Melvyn P. Leffler (Virginia)
2001-2: David A. Hollinger (California, Berkeley)
2000-2001: Timothy Breen (Northwestern)
1999-2000: Robin W. Winks (Yale)
1998-99: Alan Brinkley (Columbia)
1997-98: Ernest R. May (Harvard)
1996-7: Robert Middlekauff (California, Berkeley)
1995-96: David Kennedy (Stanford)
1994-95: Robert Dallek (UCLA)
1993-94: Eric Foner (Columbia)
1992-93: John Lewis Gaddis (Ohio)
1991-92: James A. Henretta (Maryland)
1990-91: Joyce O. Appleby (UCLA)
1989-90: Daniel W. Howe (UCLA)
1988-89: George M. Fredrickson (Stanford)
1987-88: Richard S. Dunn (Pennsylvania)
1986-87: David Montgomery (Yale)
1985-86: David Hackett Fischer (Brandeis)
1984-85: J. Morgan Kousser (CalTech)
1983-84: John W. Shy (Michigan)
1982-83: Samuel Hays (Pittsburgh)
1981-82: James T. Patterson (Brown)
1980-81: Morton Keller (Brandeis)
1979-80: Eric L. McKitrick (Columbia)
1978-79: Norman A. Graebner (Virginia)
1977-78: Willie Lee Rose (Johns Hopkins)
1976-77: John M. Blum (Yale)
1975-76: Jack P. Greene (Johns Hopkins)
1974-75: Richard C. Wade (CUNY)
1973-74: Carl N. Degler (Stanford)
1972-73: Oscar Handlin (Harvard)
1971-72: William E. Leuchtenberg (North Carolina)
1970-71: Charles G. Sellers (California, Berkeley)
1969-70: David Brion Davis (Cornell)
1968-69: Fletcher M. Green (North Carolina)
1967-68: Don E. Fehrenbacher (Stanford)
1966-67: T. Harry Williams (Louisiana State)
1965-66: Bell I. Wiley (Emory)
1964-65: Allan Nevins (Columbia)
1963-64: Frank E. Vandiver (Rice)
1962-63: Richard N. Current (North Carolina)
1961-62: Kenneth M. Stampp (California, Berkeley)
1960-61: George E. Mowry (UCLA)
1959-60: David H. Donald (Columbia)
1958-59: Arthur S. Link (Princeton)
1957-58: Walter Johnson (Chicago)
1956-57: Arthur Bestor (Illinois)
1955-56: Frank B. Friedel (Harvard)
1954-55: C. Vann Woodward (Johns Hopkins)
1953-54: Ray A. Billington (Northwestern)
1952-53: Henry Steele Commager (Columbia)
1951-52: Lawrence H. Gipson (Lehigh)
1950-51: Charles S. Sydnor (Duke)
1949-50: Merrill Jensen (Wisconsin)
1948-49: Louis M. Hacker (Columbia)
1947-48: David M. Potter (Yale)
1946-47: Walt W. Rostow (U.S. State Department)
1945-46: Vacant
1944-45: Thomas J. Wertenbaker (Princeton)
1943-44: Vacant
1942-43: Walter Prescott Webb (Texas)
1941-42: Vacant
1940-41: Allan Nevins (Columbia)
1939-40: Thomas J. Wertenbaker (Princeton University)
1925-39: Robert M. McElroy (Princeton)
1922-25: Samuel E. Morison (Harvard)