Canada Prizes

The 2013 Canada Prize winner videos are now online!

Publishers are currently submitting their nominations for the 2014 Canada Prizes, the Federation’s annual award to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program. Each year we feature the winning authors in a series of short videos, where they discuss their award-winning works and the fascinating research that went into them. Below are the official videos highlighting the winners of the 2013 Canada Prizes.

Listen to Canada Prize in the Humanities winner François-Marc Gagnon describe a piece of early Canadian art:

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Haitian voodoo is a form of medicine: author

In popular culture, voodoo is all about zombies and witchcraft and dolls with needles stuck into them.

But where some see a religion with African origins, or simply black magic, Nicolas Vonarx sees a structured system of medicine, a way of treating illnesses as worthy of respect as any other.

Vonarx explores this idea in Le vodou haïtien : Entre médecine, magie et religion, a work that won him the Prix du Canada en sciences socials 2013 for a French-language work.

“Medicine, magic and religion – those three words are very important when it comes to understanding Haitian voodoo,” says Vonarx. “This book stresses the first word: medicine.”

Trained as a public health practitioner, Vonarx came to know Haiti, its people and its culture, while working there for an international...

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Drawings from New France brought to light

For 300-odd years, the Codex Canadensis was largely unknown. And yet, the manuscript contains valuable drawings that illustrate in detail the flora and fauna of New France, as well as some of its Aboriginal peoples.

It is lost no more. A new book, The Codex Canadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas, brings together for the first time the illustrated Codex Canadensis and The Natural History of the New World, a written account that supplements the drawings. Together, they offer a new glimpse into the life of New France.

The book was edited by François-Marc Gagnon, an expert in Canadian art, with Nancy Senior and Réal Ouellet. It is the winner of the 2013 Canada Prize in the Humanities presented by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences for an English...

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Baseball a common thread in the Americas

Michel Nareau loves literature, the study of New World identities – and baseball.

He manages to bring those three passions together in his new book, Double jeu : Baseball et littératures américaines, the winner of the Prix du Canada en sciences humaines for 2013.

In it, he shows how, through baseball, many themes common to different countries in the Americas play out.

Baseball, which originated in the United States, quickly spread to Canada, the Caribbean and some Latin American countries – especially those, says Nareau, where in the 19th century the elites sent their children to be educated in the U.S. Baseball is therefore played in countries whose languages are English, French and Spanish.

Love of baseball was not something the Americans imposed on anyone; its fans...

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Authors say Canada’s intelligence services need to be accountable

 

Writing the history of Canada’s spy and intelligence services is a massive undertaking – so massive that until now no one had taken it on, says Reg Whitaker, one of three authors of the first attempt at a comprehensive history of the “political police” in Canada.

In that respect, Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America breaks new ground. The winner of the 2013 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for an English-language scholarly work covers 150 years of activities by police and security agencies such as the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Whitaker, who wrote the book along with Gregory S. Kealey and Andrew Parnaby, says that in a liberal democracy like Canada’s, it can be difficult to separate the...

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Les origines de la liberté, version canadienne

 

Daniel Drolet

Quand ils parlaient du Canada, raconte Michel Ducharme, ses étudiants ne cessaient de lui dire que le concept de « paix, ordre et bon gouvernement » était un principe fondateur du pays – par opposition au concept de liberté prisé par nos voisins américains.

L’historien sortait troublé de ces discussions, car ayant lu plusieurs documents historiques importants, il savait que le mot « liberté » était très cher à nos ancêtres canadiens. Pourquoi ne fait-il pas partie de notre discours politique moderne?

Son livre Le concept de liberté au Canada à l’époque des Révolutions atlantiques, 1776-1838 est un peu une réponse à ses étudiants.

Ce qu’il découvre, c’est en fait que deux versions très distinctes de « liberté » se sont affrontées au Canada au cours des années qui ont précédé les rebellions de...

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First World War shaped values of Canadian children: author

Daniel Drolet
Freelancer

Susan Fisher says writing Boys and Girls in No Man’s Land: English-Canadian Children and the First World War had an unexpected personal benefit: It helped her understand the world in which her parents grew up.

Fisher, whose book has won this year’s Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Canada Prize for Humanities for an English-language work, says both her grandfathers fought in the First World War, and their experiences had an effect on their families.

By studying how children on the home front reacted and responded to the war, she says she came to a better understanding of the values and behaviour of an entire generation.
Fisher says she became interested in the topic when she discovered, while doing research for another project, that there are quite a lot of...

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Veronica Strong-Boag on her award-winning book

Author sees hope amid the sad stories of child welfare in Canada
By Daniel Drolet

Veronica Strong-Boag, whose work Fostering Nation? offers the first-ever comprehensive look at the history of Canada’s care of marginalized youngsters, says she was relieved to find signs of hope amid much sadness.

“When I started this work, it was depressing,” says Strong-Boag, explaining that as her research progressed, she encountered story after story of children being abused and families destroyed through encounters with the child welfare system.

“It was a relief to me – and somewhat of a surprise – that I was able to finish on a hopeful note,” says the winner of this year’s Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Canada Prize for Social...

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2011 Canada Prize in the Humanities: An interview with Louis-Jacques Dorais

The Canada Prize in the Humanities and the Canada Prize in the Social Sciences recognize scholarly manuscripts that are vital to the growth of humanity's knowledge, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada and the world. Four prizes - two in English and two in French - worth $2,500 each are awarded each year. Eligible titles have been supported by the Federation's Aid to Scholarly Publications Program and the winners selected by a cross-Canada jury of scholars.

Louis-Jacques Dorais is winner of the 2011 Canada Prize in the Humanities. Professor Dorais’ book...

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