Three prizes were awarded recently to two York University graduates for their academic endeavours in Canadian studies.
Lindsay Moore (BA ’13) won the 2012-13 Odessa Prize from York’s Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies for her essay, “Touring Toronto: Experiential Narratives of History, Culture and Identity.” The Odessa Prize is given to the best essay completed in a fourth-year course on a topic related to the study of Canada and comes with a cash prize of $1,000. Moore completed her fourth-year honours thesis for Professor Anne MacLennan of the Department of Communication Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
The prize was established through the generosity of York alumnus Irvin Studin (BBA Spec. Hons.’99, PhD ’11), editor of What is a Canadian? Forty-Three Thought-Provoking Responses (McClelland & Stewart, 2006). The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, his book is dedicated to his parents who were from Odessa.
The following is what the prize committee had to say:
Lindsay Moore has written a graduate-level essay that is solidly researched, wide-ranging and original. It is outstanding because of its substantial grounding in relevant theoretical materials, in addition to its well-presented and interesting empirical research. She does an excellent job of exploring the ways in which historical walking tours are sites for the negotiation of urban histories, including the ways in which such tours embody (and produce and interpellate) some of the tensions of neoliberal cities, here concerning the commercial and colonial institutionalizations of certain forms of memory, heritage and place.
Moore is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of British Columbia.
Jaime Yard (PhD ’12) won the inaugural Barbara Godard Prize for the Best Dissertation on the Study of Canada. It recognizes the doctoral dissertation on a Canadian topic that best advances the knowledge of Canada, transcends disciplinary boundaries, and demonstrates innovation in thought and/or methodology.
The prize includes $500 and commemorates the late York Professor Barbara Godard, who made many contributions to the multidisciplinary understanding of Canada. Her many friends and colleagues have donated generously to establish this prize.
Yard completed her dissertation, “Working Natures: An Ethnography of Love, Labour, and Accumulation on the British Columbia Coast,” in the social anthropology program in 2012 with Professor Shubhra Gururani as her supervisor.
The prize committee’s citation is as follows:
This dissertation represents an engaging and insightful exploration of non-native understandings of place in contemporary British Columbia. The author combines a range of disciplinary approaches and methodologies in the pursuit of her topic. She demonstrates a strong understanding of the intertwining of colonial dispossession and resource extraction in B.C. It is based on outstanding ethnographic research on the Sunshine Coast.
Yard also won the Canadian Studies Network – Réseau d’études canadiennes dissertation prize. The winner of this prize is then nominated for the best dissertation award given out by the International Council for Canadian Studies.
The prize committee wrote the following:
In clear, engaging prose, Yard builds a compelling case for her decision to “reverse the focus” and approach her study of the Sechelt peninsula by attending to the “patterns of inhabitation of non‐native people . . . who have come to make a home of this occupied place: to log, to fish, to recreate and to retire.” Her arguments rest on impressive archival research, interviews, personal observations, familiarity with the landscape, an understanding of colonial dispossession in the region, poetry analysis and carefully articulated engagement with relevant historiography and theoretical frameworks. Yard incorporates within her dissertation a great range of disciplinary approaches and methodologies . . . In short, this is beautifully written work, engaging and perceptive and a joy to read.
Yard currently teaches in the Department of Anthropology at Douglas College, New Westminster, B.C.