York University Professor Janine Marchessault has been awarded the prestigious Trudeau Fellowship prize from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
“York University was proud to learn that Professor Janine Marchessault was awarded the Trudeau Fellowship prize,” says Mamdouh Shoukri, president & vice-chancellor. “The Trudeau Fellowship is an incredible honour bestowed upon the finest thinkers who have demonstrated outstanding research achievements, creativity and social commitment in all disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. We are thrilled that one of our own is being recognized as part of this esteemed group.”
Janine Marchessault accepts her Trudeau Fellowship prize
Through her groundbreaking creative work and research, Marchessault aims to interpret and illustrate the city and its sustainability issues, combining urban planning, public art and the media. The Fellowship prize recognizes her work in this area. Marchessault, Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, is one of four new 2012 Trudeau Fellows announced Tuesday at a ceremony at the University of Toronto.
“Among the primary activities that the fellowship will support is an international site-specific art exhibition called Land/slide: Possible Futures on Sept. 21 to Oct. 31, 2013, devoted to reflecting on the future of land use in one of Canada’s largest and fastest developing suburbs in Toronto – Markham, Ontario – with a specific focus on the Green Belt,” said Marchessault. “The fellowship will help to fund this exhibition, as well as different activities related to it, including a large international symposium at the Royal Ontario Museum devoted to land and climate change.”
Janine Marchessault (right) with Michael Longford, associate dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts
Marchessault’s urban research has focused on the creative cultures of cities, such as Berlin, Havana, Helsinki, Montreal and Toronto. She directs the Visible City Project and an online archive that brings together more than 50 interviews with artists, urban planners, designers and curators from a variety of countries to consider how art and communication are manifested in different geopolitical contexts. This research and archive project is an ongoing research endeavour.
One of Canada’s best-known McLuhan scholars, Marchessault takes up McLuhan’s tragic and utopian vision of the global village. In Marshall McLuhan: Cosmic Media (Sage Publications, 2005), Marchessault argues that McLuhan understood the value of artistic practices not in terms of creating decorative objects, but as the means to produce new kinds of awareness and perception, along with new forms of human communication and community.
Robert Haché, York’s vice-president, research & innovation, speaks at the Trudeau Foundation ceremony
Each Trudeau Fellowship prize is worth $225,000 payable over three years. Trudeau Fellowships are awarded to individuals who set themselves apart through research achievements, creativity and commitment to critical social issues of importance to Canada.
A Canadian institution with a national purpose, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan charity that was established in 2001 by the family, friends and colleagues of the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1919-2000) as a living memorial to the former Canadian prime minister. In 2002, with the unanimous support of the House of Commons, the Government of Canada endowed the foundation with a donation of $125 million. The foundation also benefits from private sector donations.