Winner of CSN-RÉC Prize for the Best PhD Dissertation in Canadian Studies

The Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies would like to extend a warm congratulations to Brittany Luby for her PhD dissertation, titled Drowned: Anishinabek Economies and Resistance to Hydroelectric Development in the Winnipeg River Drainage Basin, 1873-1975, winning the 2017 Prize for the Best PhD Dissertation in the Canadian Studies.

This prize is awarded annually to an outstanding interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation completed at a Canadian university on a Canadian subject that best advances our knowledge and understanding of Canada and Canadian Studies, and is defended during the preceding calendar year. The CSN-RÉC will nominate Dr. Luby’s thesis for the Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Canadian Studies offered by the International Council for Canadian Studies.

The Adjudication Committee writes, “Brittany Luby’s dissertation, Drowned: Anishinabek Economies and Resistance to Hydroelectric Development in the Winnipeg River Drainage Basin, 1873-1975 transcends disciplinary borders, working between archival material, oral history, and personal engagement to pull together a richly textured narrative of the impact of dams on the Anishinabek during over a century of colonization. Successfully combining and connecting theoretical approaches, methodology and primary research from fields as varied and as far-reaching as environmental science, women’s studies, sociology, labour history, political science and hydroelectric engineering, the study illustrates the potential and indispensability of transdisciplinary research particularly in studies of the First Nations. Dr. Luby's dissertation makes a crucial contribution to Canadian Studies by intervening in and problematizing typical conceptions of the post-WWII period as a time of increasing affluence in Canada, demonstrating that this affluence did not extend to Indigenous peoples. The thesis makes a compelling argument that dominant histories of Canada have yet to acknowledge how post-WWII interventions by the federal government in infrastructure development negatively impacted quality of life and prospects for affluence in First Nations communities. Luby's dissertation also productively opens up and reconsiders what gets read/understood as "resistance" to these forms of injustice. The thesis is beautifully written, highly reflexive, and a true pleasure to read.”

Congratulations Dr. Brittany Luby!!