Each winning £200, the Cheney winners in the arts and social sciences are Sofia Sanabria De Felipe (History, 2018) and Thomas Albertini (History and French, 2018). College prizes in Sciences and Mathematics go to Joe Deakin (M Maths and Philosophy, 2018) and Naomi Miall (Biology, 2017).
The judges, Stephan Rauschenbach, Christina Benninghaus and Ursula Martin found the winning essays to be well-researched, presenting results in compelling ways.
In their comments the judges said: “Sofia Sanabria De Felipe’s essay on Marvel’s Black Widow character and the dissemination of American Cold War propaganda demonstrated great ability to think outside the box, while Thomas Albertini’s research on the dissolution of Evesham Abbey contributes to the historiography of the English Reformation through a local case study. Joe Deakin’s essay on propositional logic focuses on abstract mathematics, and was a fascinating read. Naomi Maill’s work on the UK’s Chlamydia vaccination programme is of publishable quality, and contributes to public health and policy advice research.”
Sofia Sanabria De Felipe’s essay asked: What does an analysis of Marvel’s Black Widow character reveal about the dissemination of America’s Cold War propaganda through popular culture? The essay shows that comics, although commercial products which necessarily respond to readers' interests and tastes, can also be seen as powerful agents of political propaganda. Visual characteristics of the comics change over time, which can be interpreted as reflective of increasing ambiguities characteristic of a post-Cold War world in which gender relations have become more egalitarian.
A social catastrophe? An Analysis of the Dissolution of Evesham Abbey by Thomas Albertini contributes to the historiography on the English reformation by concentrating on a local case study: the destruction of Evesham Abbey, questioning pro-protestant narratives of the reformation. Although the abbey was of central importance for the provision of poor relief and although it can be assumed to have constituted an important factor within the local economy, the historical record seems to suggest that its destruction was welcomed by the local population. In his essay, Thomas provides an alternative interpretation, pointing to the fact that the abbey's charitable work as well as the erection of the bell tower had been supported by local contributions. The looting which occurred after the destruction might better be understood not as an act of aggression and protest directed against the church but as an attempt to counterbalance the damage which the destruction of the abbey had caused both to the local community and to individuals.
The conditions for any connective to be expressively adequate in propositional logic by Joe Deakin is an extremely detailed and focused piece on abstract mathematics. The judges commented: “We commend the amount of thought that has gone into this piece and the execution as a fascinating read not only for scientists. We wish for the author to pursue this further.”
In her essay, Naomi Miall focused on: A Chlamydia Vaccination Programme in the UK: Lessons from 11 years of HPV Immunisation Naomi explains how the usefulness of a vaccine is calculated (cost-efficiency, question of right to best treatment) and how experiences with the introduction of the HPV vaccination of young girls should be used to think about the implementation of a new vaccine for Chlamydia. The judges commented: “We are of the opinion that this text is publishable and that it offers an interesting marriage of medical science with public health, centred on the questions of public health education etc.”