major essay

word limit:2500 words

  The objective of this essay is to assess students’ application of Mary Louise Pratt’s concept of ‘contact zone’ to a case study in cross-cultural history.  

Answer one of the following questions:

  1. Biographical history: Choosing an individual from the course or your own research, write an essay about their life and experiences in historical context. How does their life story illuminate the contact zones of cross-cultural history? Consider gender, ‘race’ and colonial history in your answer.
  2. Using an example from the course, consider how the figure of the ‘go-between’ can be understood in cross-cultural world history. What did he or she face in the contact zone with Europeans, was he or she a betrayer of their own people or a remarkable individual able to see beyond their own circumstances…or somewhere in between the two?
  3.  Considering the variety of early encounters with ‘native’ peoples, reflect on the role of  interpersonal and cultural exchanges between locals and Europeans. How did these exchanges contribute to or mitigate against the violence of colonisation? You might choose early Sydney as your case study.
  4. Refer to one case study either from the course or of your own choosing, reflect on the changing representation of no-western peoples and cultures in museums.

List of Requirements

1.  Your essay does not need a cover page; however the question you choose to answer must be listed clearly and in full at the top of the first page along with your name and student number.

2.  Your essay must be written in at least 12 point font, with appropriate margins, page numbers and at least 1½ line spacing.  Please insert your name and student number in the page footer.

3.  Your essay must be written in a proper essay structure (introduction, body and conclusion).  You should not use bullet points or headings.

4.  You may use appropriate sources from the topic reading lists, but are encouraged to consult additional scholarly sources. Unacceptable sources include lecture notes, encyclopaedias, and unverifiable internet sources (e.g. Wikipedia). As a guide, you should use at least ten (10) sources. 

5. All sources used in your essay must be fully cited in-text and listed in a bibliography.  Referencing style may be either APA or Harvard ‘author/date’. 

Assessment Criteria

The objective of this essay is to assess students’ application of Mary Louise Pratt’s concept of ‘contact zone’ to a case study in cross-cultural history. 

1.  ACCURACY and UNDERSTANDING:  Is the information accurate?  Does the student demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the key themes and concepts addressed in the course readings?

2.  ARGUMENT: Has a plausible argument been constructed in response to the question?  Is the argument persuasively made and appropriately supported?

3.  STRUCTURE and EXPRESSION: Is the style of the essay clear and concise,with a logical flow. Does the writing display fluency, clarity and grammatical correctness? 

4.  PRESENTATION: Is the essay well presented in regards to page numbering, font size, line spacing and similar details which comprise a well presented essay?

5.  CITATION and BIBLIOGRAPHY: Have the sources been cited according to appropriate scholarly conventions?  Is there evidence of independent research of additional scholarly sources?

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