J. William and Sarah Dyck Award for Russian Mennonite Studies


Detail from "The Flour Mill" by Henry PaulsAn award, valued at $1,000, is provided annually to undergraduate or graduate students. The successful candidate will demonstrate an interest in Russian Mennonite Studies.  This fund is made possible by a donation from J. William and Sarah Dyck. The deadline to apply for the 2018/19 award is January 25, 2019.

Eligibility and selection criteria:

  • Award recipients will be graduate or undergraduate students who have demonstrated an interest in Russian Mennonite Studies
  • The recipient will:
    • Have produced a substantive project, from within a variety of disciplines, contributing to the understanding of the Russian Mennonite experience. This projected, completed within an academic program, could take the form of a research paper or another medium such as video or visual art;
    • Undertake a research internship in the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, assisting the archivist in working with primary source documents with specific reference to the Russian Mennonite experience. The project will consists of 50 hours of work over the course of one or two academic terms. In addition, the recipient will be expected to present their findings on some aspect or theme of the project in the form of a paper or other medium.
  • The recipient will be chosen by the Dean of Conard Grebel University College together with the Archivist-Librarian
  • Selection will be based on academic merit and the student’s skill-set for the described tasks

To apply:

Why Russian Mennonite Studies?

Mennonites from Prussia began to establish settlements in Ukraine in 1788. Eventually, Mennonites spread to many parts of the Russian Empire where they formed distinctive religious, cultural and administrative communities. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, conditions for Mennonites in the new Soviet Union changed dramatically. Refugee displacement and exile in the 1940s effectively ended Mennonite community life in Russia, though a small Mennonite presence remains. Three major emigrations from Russia/Soviet Union to Canada took place: in the 1870s, 1920s and 1940s.  

The Russian Mennonite experience is a rich field to explore many themes, such as immigration and refugee stories, church-state relations, family life, ethnic and religious minorities, art and photography, biography and memoir, food history, language, and pacifism.

Image: Detail from "The Flour Mill" by Henry Pauls. A Russian Mennonite immigrant to Ontario, Pauls painted Mennonite village scenes in later life.