Recipient - Dr. Shilpa Bhat D.
The following is a message from Dr Shilpa Bhat D:
I am grateful to York University, Canada, particularly President Emerita Lorna Marsden both for making my visit to the institutions possible and for meeting and interacting with me. I am truly honoured for being invited and welcomed to the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies as the first International Visitor the year (2015). The opportunity allowed me to work for a period of one month; and I collected significant amount of material for my research on the works of M. G. Vassanji available at both Scott Library and the Clara Smith Archives located in York University. Further, I got a chance to present a seminar talk on the theory of hybridization, analyzed at the intersections of diaspora and migration, with reference to Vassanji who lives in Canada and from here, as a vantage point, writes about East Africa and India. There are diverse trajectories that researchers pursue in the arena of Canadian Studies and mine happens to be through the migratory vein that the writer in question portrays through the criss-crossing paths of immigrants across continents—from Asia to East Africa to Canada. The outcome of my visit, I believe will be publication of papers on the subject. The archival research helped me to work on the unpublished works of the writer, allowing me to pursue research on 'grey literature' that is so indispensable for a researcher. I will be examining and working on the material so gathered in the next few months. My visit has been extremely meaningful and enriching in terms of my research work and meeting Professors who relate to Canadian Studies in various ways.
I would like to express my gratitude to Prof. Colin Coates (former Director, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies) and Prof. Gabrielle Slowey (Director, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies) for the opportunity. I would like to especially thank Prof. Leslie Sanders whose letter of support initially paved way for my research work; and whose lively and insightful conversations I shall forever cherish. I believe that like me, the subsequent visitors to the Robarts Centre will benefit immensely from the rich resources in the library and through professional networking.
Dr Shilpa Bhat D, Assistant Professor (English/Diaspora and Migration Studies)
Ahmedabad University — Gujarat, India
Odessa Prize Winners
Recipient - Lindsay Moore
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.
Barbara Godard Prize Recipients
Recipient - Jaime Yard
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.