Vellacott Essay Prize (Year 12)

Peterhouse is setting some interesting questions for Year 12  students to discuss (with reference to any academic discipline or area of interest) for its annual Vellacott Essay Prize.

Students are asked to choose a topic that you have not previously studied at school from the 41 questions, which include a wide range of historical topics, also touching on a number of other subject areas, such as Classics, Theology, Art, Literature, Music, Politics, Architecture and Sociology. Here are some examples of the questions set:

  • Should Classical Sparta be described as a totalitarian state?
  • Was there a 'Third-Century Crisis' in the Roman Empire?
  • When did the Middle Ages begin and end?
  • What were the public functions of art in the Italian Renaissance?
  • Why was Machiavelli's book The Prince so controversial?
  • How and to what effect did the political ideology and practice of Islam change after 1750?
  • What music was popular in nineteenth-century Europe?
  • What did the revolutions of 1848 achieve?
  • To what extent did the First World War signal the rise of a new politcs accross the MIddle East?
  • Discuss the historical significance of one of the following places or buildings: Route 66; The IBM Watson Research Center; the MCG; Reading gaol; The "walkie-talkie".

The full list of questions and details of the competition are available on the Peterhouse website in the Vellacott Prize information pdf, and please also read the details of eligibility and the history of the Peterhouse essay prizes. The deadline is 14 March 2016.Good luck to those who choose to explore some of these topics, whether just for curiosity or to develop an essay and enter the competition!

Date posted: 

Tuesday 19 January 2016

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