Winners of the Staton Essay Prize 2017

Date: 3/10/2017

The judges of the Staton Essay Prize are delighted to announce the winners for 2017:

Overall Winner – Olga Makarova

Contemporary Worlds – Davina Thomas

Literary Worlds – Samuel Christie

Congratulations to these entrants who were highly commended by the judges:

Tom Crane

Emma Farkas

Christopher Foley

Rhiannon Green

Felicity Hudson

Imogen Marchant

Vladimir Vasile

Details of Staton Essay Prize 2018 will be released in March.

About the Prize: The Staton Essay Prize is an interdisciplinary essay competition open to all students currently studying in Year 12 anywhere in the UK (or its equivalent in the EU and internationally).   One prize will be awarded in each of 3 categories in the competition: £250 to the best essay overall, and two prizes of £150 each to two other essays. Prize winners and their parents or carers will be invited to a special Awards Dinner at Regent’s.

Regent’s Park College specializes in teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. It has developed a particular expertise in teaching joint honours degrees and this prize is designed to give entrants the opportunity to explore connections between the subjects they are currently studying or are interested in, develop their abilities for independent research, and encourage them to apply for undergraduate courses that may be interdisciplinary.

The theme for the 2017 Prize was ‘Revolution and Dissent’, and the questions were as follows:

Contemporary Worlds category

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like contemporary history (1980s onwards), economics, philosophy, religious studies, and politics.

(1) ‘The revolution will not be televised’ (Gil Scott-Heron). How important is the media in revolution and protest?

(2) Is dissent a sign of a healthy democracy?

(3) Do you agree that ‘poverty is the parent of revolution and crime’ (Aristotle)?

Historical Worlds category

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like ancient history, archaeology, classical literature, history (from the fall of Rome to 1979), philosophy, and religious studies.

(4) Do protest movements gain momentum because of a unifying ideology or charismatic leadership?

(5) Do revolutions always end in disappointment?

(6) Is protest more effective if it is underpinned with violence?

Literary Worlds category

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like classical literature, English language, English literature, history (any period), philosophy, and religious studies.

(7) ‘The World Turned-Upside-Down’ (title of a pamphlet from the English Civil War). Do you think that works of literature turn worlds upside down or stabilize them?

(8) ‘Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress?’ (J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince). Do you agree?

(9) In what ways do revolutions spur literary creativity?