The Orwell Prize Moves to UCL

Thursday 20 October 2016

Film by Rob Eagle, UCL Communications

The Orwell Prize has announced that it will now be based at The Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, home to the Orwell Archive.

The announcement, which marks the start of an exciting new era for the Orwell Prize, were made at a debate to celebrate the launch of the Orwell Prize 2017 on ‘Experts, the Media and Politics’ featuring Jamie Bartlett, Ashwin Kumar, Christopher Snowdon and Polly Toynbee.

The Orwell Prize also announced that Ian Hislop will give the Orwell Lecture 2016 on Tuesday 15th November 2016 and The Judges for the Orwell Prize 2017.

Jean Seaton, Director of the Orwell Prize, said

“Arriving at UCL – home of the Orwell Archive – is an exciting moment in the development of the Orwell Prize. Orwell’s focus on the slipperiness of political language is particularly compelling in our own uncertain times, and this year’s Orwell judges will be unearthing a selection of the best, bleakest, most inspiring, most intelligent thinking in writing and journalism. The Prize depends on both the authority and variety of tastes that the judges bring to the process and this year we have a stellar collection. But the first thing we have to offer is one of the great public moralists of the moment, Ian Hislop, giving the Orwell Lecture 2017”.

Professor Tamar Garb, Director of UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies, said

“The Orwell Prize’s move to UCL is as logical as it is exciting. UCL has been home to the Archive since 1960 – it was deposited at UCL on permanent loan by his widow, ten years after Orwell’s death from tuberculosis at University College Hospital –  and has hosted the Orwell Lecture since 2013. Now, the Orwell Prize will be based at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies. The Orwell Prize is a natural fit within our commitment to critical thinking across conventional disciplinary boundaries. We look forward to working with The Orwell Prize to develop Orwell scholarship, and to stimulate cultural and political discourse in the name of one of the world’s most incisive and relevant writers.”

The Orwell Prize is now based at the Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL. UCL is home to the Orwell Archive, the most comprehensive body of research material relating to George Orwell anywhere. The Orwell Prize expects to be able to develop Orwell scholarship and cultural and political engagement in the sympathetic and stimulating environment of the IAS, which is committed to critical thinking across conventional boundaries.