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Rex Nettleford Prize for Undergraduates: Essays on Colonialism and its Legacies

About the Essay Competition

The Rex Nettleford Prize is an essay competition open to current undergraduate students at the University of Oxford. The winner of the essay prize will be awarded £250.

The purpose of the Prize is:

  • To promote awareness amongst students of issues relating to colonialism and its legacies.
  • To encourage students to pursue independent research beyond their degree subject and to write up their findings in a clear, rigorous and effective way.
  • To encourage students to think critically in using data and argument.
  • To recognise the effort and achievement of the most successful submissions by a prize and commendations.

Assessment Criteria

  • Entrants should be current undergraduate students at the University of Oxford and may be in any year of their degree course.
  • Students must address a topic that is not directly related to their degree course.
  • The judges will look for a clear grasp of issues addressed, clarity in structuring and presentation of the argument, a critical approach to primary and secondary source materials, and originality of thought.

How To Enter

This year’s 2022 competition closed on Friday 18th March 2022. Check here again later for updates on how to enter next year’s competition.

Previous Essay Questions

Candidates were encouraged to focus their answer in terms of its historical period, geographical centre and cultural range should that prove useful.

  1. Are colonialism and imperialism the same?
  2. Is it possible to study past colonialism entirely ‘according to the values of its time’?
  3. Our culture is increasingly recognised as being global. Is this a legacy of colonialism?
  4. ‘Language is an essential tool of colonial domination.’ Discuss this statement in relation to a particular colonial and cultural context of your choosing.

Essays are no more than 2,500 words in length.

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