Divisions: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Middle School
Competition Type: Individual, Research and Group Seminar
For the 2022 International History Olympiad, we are introducing a new event which showcases how history impacts important issues of the present: the Task Force. In advance of the Task Force, students who plan on participating will write a 2-4 page paper on a specific Focus of the topic of discussion. They will be assigned their Focus discussion by July 15, once all students have completed their event selection forms. Students will also listen to online speakers, read articles, and familiarize themselves with the topic in advance of the Olympiad.
At the actual Olympiad, students will then come together in their age division groups, present their Focus findings, listen to additional Focus presentations, analyze further materials, and then draft a slate of recommendations on the topic.
Students will be evaluated not only through their own presentations, but on how well they collaborate in the group (hint: talk less, listen more!) and the merits of their contributions to the final report.
A. Historical Factors in the Russia and Ukraine Crisis
Description: Students will advise an ambassador trying to bring the war to the end who may be a diplomatic representative of the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Poland, or India. Students may select a target audience of any country provided they can prove their relevance to the conflict. The paper should cover the following points: what the current state of the conflict is, what the important historical considerations might be, how those historical considerations can inform ways to resolve the conflict, and why the ambassador/diplomat who is the audience of the paper should agree with the proposed solutions.
B. Historical Dimensions to Analyze the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative
Description: China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), formerly known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), began in 2013 under the direction of President Xi Jinping. With several trillion of dollars pledged to the development of ports, railways, and other infrastructure projects, BRI is a grand strategy that claims to enhance regional connectivity via land and sea and more economic cooperation across the Asian, African, and European continents. Many, however, also have concerns about debt-traps and neo-colonialism causing dependency on China. It is up to you all to determine for yourselves the pros and cons and advise regional political organizations such as the African Union and ASEAN on how to approach and negotiate with China on BRI projects.
C. Emmanuel Macron’s Council of French Historians
Description: Emmanuel Macron was recently reelected President of France, but will now have to govern with a legislature in which his party does not command a majority. Contemporary French society can look to historical context to help advise on how best to handle the current political situation. Students will form a council of historians who will then advise President Macron based on French history, as well as historical contexts from other countries that could prove useful.