The two winners of the 2010 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance in the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies have been announced.
At the undergraduate level, international studies student Margaret Bancerz won for her essay “Counter-Hegemony and ALBA: The Answer to the FTAA”, while at the graduate level, Osgoode Hall Law School PhD candidate Priscila Becker (IMBA ’08) won for her paper, “The Convention on Biological Diversity, Indigenous Peoples and Conservation of Biodiversity”.
Evaluators called Bancerz’s paper comparing two economic trade pacts in the Americas today “an excellent example of counter-hegemony” with “extensive documentation from a wide variety of sources.” They went on to say, it provides “both an in-depth description (substance, activities and historical narrative) involving the two treaties, drawing on empirical data taken from official sources, as well as a significant critique, based on what seems like a very extensive reading of a wide variety of secondary sources (historical, economic, social and political).”
For Becker’s paper, evaluators said it was “very well argued, very well researched and very thoughtful work on an important issue” and prize-worthy in terms of “quality of writing, level of sophistication of the analysis and coherence.”
The essays were nominated by York faculty members and each was evaluated by a different committee comprised of Fellows from the Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC). Both prize-winning papers are available online as part of CERLAC’s Baptista Prize-Winning Essays Series.
The other undergraduate student papers nominated for the 2010 prize were: Jan Anderson’s “Searching for Black Canadians: Contestations over Citizenship”; Laura Liberatori’s “Handling Venezuela: The Rise and Success of the Hands off Venezuela Campaign”; Nadine Ramharack’s “Overcoming Adversity: The Life of Jaffroon Ali, 84 Years and Counting”; and Adrian Reyes’ “Corporate Social Responsibility and Due Diligence: The Case for Ex Ante Human Rights Impact Assessments”.
Paulo Ravecca was the other graduate-level student nominated for his paper “Political Science and the Politics of Science in Latin America”.
The Michael Baptista Essay Prize was established by the friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank of Canada. This $500 prize is awarded annually to both a graduate and an undergraduate student at York in recognition of an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the humanities, social science, business or legal perspective.
The Michael Baptista Essay Prize & Lecture are named in honour of Michael Baptista in recognition of the areas central to his spirit and success: the importance of his Guyanese/Caribbean roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievement at the Royal Bank of Canada and his continued and unqualified drive and love of learning.
For more information about the essay prize, visit CERLAC’s Michael Baptista Essay Prize & Lecture web page.