Northwest School senior Pavan N. has been published in the winter 2016 edition of the Concord Review, a well-known quarterly that is the only journal in the world to publish academic research papers of secondary students.
Pavan began working on his piece, "Trial of Warren Hastings," over a year ago. The research paper, roughly 8,100 words, has nearly 100 citations. It details the 1788 trial of Warren Hastings, first Governor-General of India and the head of the powerful British East India Company. The trial was an attempt to impeach Hastings for accusations of corruption, and showed the major role of the East India Company during the colonization of India.
Pavan, who has Indian Heritage, has always been interested in Indian history. "Warren Hastings made the East India Company into a major exploiter of the Indian populace," says Pavan. "That is what induced me to research the paper on him. It was interesting to see how this figure really influenced the history of India.”
Pavan decided to write about Warren Hastings because of a childhood trip. As a child, he visited the ancient capital of a sultan named Tipu Sultan, and while there, he saw a fort that was a vestige of 18th century British imperialism. Tipu Sultan's resistance of the East India Company inspired Pavan, as well as the philosophical implications of Hasting's trial.
"What I found most unique about this trial is that it embodied French philosopher Michel Foucault’s postulation about the change in human mindset between the 18th and 19th centuries, from one of enlightenment ideals to another of imperialist and racist viewpoints," says Pavan.
Pavan credits the Humanities Department at the Northwest School with helping him develop the skills necessary to write about such a complex topic, and most importantly, for fostering his love of history.
"Many of the teachers here have inspired me to think beyond the history of events," says Pavan. "They have made me want to learn more about why events occur and how they have affected humanity. I think that growth mindset about wanting to know more has been instilled in me by the Humanities Department."
The Concord Review was founded in 1897 and publishes select history essays by high school students from around the world. It has published over 1,100 research papers, and is a highly competitive forum. Only five percent of submitted pieces are published.