Skip to main content

25 September 2020

MA graduate Nessie Nankivell wins the Michael Sprinker Graduate Writing Competition

Recent Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory MA graduate Nessie Nankivell has won the 2020 Sprinker Prize graduate essay competition for her research on "'Extracting Indigeneity': Real Abstraction and the Duty to Consult in the Athabasca Oil Sands."

Nessie Nankivell

The Michael Sprinker Graduate Writing Competition was set up by the The Marxist Literary Group to remember and further Michael’s commitment to Marxist intellectual work and to graduate teaching and students. The award recognises an essay or dissertation chapter that engages with Marxist theory, scholarship, pedagogy, and/or activism.

Nessie's research investigated the relation between value and circulation, specifically as it connects to global logistics and settler-colonialism, and was based on her MA dissertation.



Among this year's submissions, this essay stood out for its original and politically relevant argument pulling Marxist value theory into conversation with critical Indigenous studies. Readers observed that the author is well versed in the current debates and introduces a particularly novel analysis of Indigeneity-as-commodity.

Courtney Maloney, Chair of the Sprinker Prize Committee

The winner of the prize receives a prize of $500 and automatic entry of the essay into the peer review process of the MLG's journal Mediations.


It feels fantastic to have my work recognised by everyone at the Marxist Literary Group. The essay I submitted was drawn from the dissertation I wrote for the Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory MA (2018-19) and, in the most genuine way, I share this prize with my fantastic cohort from that course. Seb Franklin and Amy De’Ath, who've had a massive influence on my work, and Jane Elliot, our course co-convenor, continually went out of their way to make our MA experience engaging and exciting. Most of all, they encouraged us to bond, to read each other’s work, and to take care of one another. All my friends in that cohort have shaped not only this essay but my skill as a writer—which makes receiving the award even more meaningful.

Nessie Nankivell, Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory MA graduate