Students win Baptista Essay Prizes

Two students have won the 2006 Michael Baptista Essay Prize and a third, an honourable mention, for outstanding scholarly papers on topics related to Latin American and Caribbean studies. 

Jasmin Hristov, a PhD student in sociology, won the graduate prize. Jillian Ollivierre, an anthropology student, won the undergraduate prize. And Marcelo Vieta, a PhD student in social & political thought, won an honourable mention.

The $500 prize is awarded annually to a graduate and undergraduate student at York who write outstanding scholarly essays related to Latin American and Caribbean studies from a humanities, social science, business or legal perspective. 

Essays were nominated by York professors and evaluated by selection committees of York’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC).  

Jasmin Hristov’s winning graduate-level paper was "Visibilizing and Humanizing Indigenous Peasant Movements: The Case of the CRIC in Colombia". Hristov analyzes the relationship between social class, and ethnicity and race as manifested in the formations, struggles and visions of the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (CRIC), a rural group in Colombia, and its relationship with the Colombian state.

Reviewers said "the organization and presentation of the main argument is outstanding." They noted that her work "demonstrates a superb grasp of a range of theoretical perspectives, reinvigorates and adds new life to Marxist-Leninist influenced modes of social analysis" and considers "the ways in which class and race operate as structuring and organizing principles in new social movements."

Reviewers of the graduate-level prize were also impressed with Vieta’s paper, "The Worker-Recovered Enterprise Movement in Argentina," and gave him an honourable mention. 

Jillian Ollivierre’s essay, "Sex on the Beach: Hypersexuality, ‘Making Do,’ and Sexual Health in the Anglophone Caribbean", won the undergraduate prize. About romance tourism between white female tourists and Caribbean men, "her paper is outstanding not only in its attempt to interrogate an aspect of sex work that has received little critical attention but in its ability to disturb questions of gender and sexuality by introducing race and class as agents of global power and powerlessness," said the reviewers. 

The Michael Baptista Prize and Lecture are named in Baptista’s honour recognize his Guyanese and Caribbean roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievement at the Royal Bank of Canada, and his love of learning.