The Tri-University History Program congratulates this year's Essay Prize winners announced during the annual conference on March 5-6 that was held virtually this year.
For the MA prize the committee’s choice was Georgia Gingrich’s, “From Contact to Colonialism: A Historiography of Indigenous Health and Disease in Canada.” It was submitted to Dr. Susan Neylan’s Indigenous Peoples within Canada: First Nations' Histories course held at Wilfrid Laurier University in Fall 2020. "Gingrich did well to identify key themes that emerged on a very important topic through the last several decades," the committee explains. "More than that, she was willing to engage the literature, and judge it, for example on its use of oral and ethno history. The works are assessed against a set of themes to show how aboriginal health was largely determined by community isolation, by the food communities did or did not receive, and by gender. Gingrich also considers how aboriginal communities demonstrated their own agency by protest, and by negotiating the limits of settler medicine. As the paper concludes, these themes still resonate within aboriginal communities in the present."
The committee awarded co-prizes this year for two very different, but very impressive PhD papers that were both published in 2020.
Dan Attrell’s “Honoring the Outermost: Saturn in Picatrix, Marsilio Ficino, and Renaissance Cosmology” was published in the journal Preternature. The committee stated that Attrell's work was "a highly distinctive piece: originally argued, widely researched, and lucidly written. The author's extensive knowledge allows him to trace the transformations of the image of Saturn from Greco-Roman philosophical treatises through medieval Arab astrological texts to the astro-magical Picatrix of the Italian humanist Marsilio Ficino."
Emily B. Kaliel co-wrote and published “Building Community and Transforming Knowledge: Histories of Women's Health Practitioners and Community-Based Health Services in 20th-Century Alberta, Canada,” in the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History with Karissa R. Patton. "This was a fascinating essay, which combined excellent research on two case studies from 20th century Alberta. It showed how women health practitioners working at the community level used experiential knowledge to improve health programs," stated the committee. "It was also a fine model of scholarly collaboration."
The Tri-University program congratulates all the winners and thanks the jury members. The prize jury this year included Dr. Darryl Dee, Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Geoffrey Hayes, University of Waterloo, and Dr. Alan McDougall, University of Guelph.
Each year, the PhD essay prize is awarded to the best paper published by a doctoral student in the previous calendar year. The MA Prize is awarded to the best paper written for a Tri-University MA seminar in the previous fall term nominated by its professor.