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Winners for Canada Prizes announced

Canada Prizes

OTTAWA, March 14, 2013 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Canada Prizes. The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program.

Celebrating the best Canadian scholarly books across all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, the Canada Prizes are awarded to books that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada.

“These books are emblematic of the best in contemporary Canadian scholarship. They cover a range of topics—from art, belief and culture, to sport, the state and society. Crossing geographic and temporal boundaries they focus on the margins and the mainstream, the hidden and the exotic, and explore how both expression and repression shape people's lives in diverse contexts,” said Graham Carr, president of the Federation.

“Whether written as solo works or collaborations, these rich and provocative works illustrate the important contributions that social science and humanities research make to understanding the world that was, that is, and that may yet become,” he added.

The prizes, each valued at $2,500, will be presented by distinguished author and public intellectual John Ralston Saul at the awards ceremony on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel.

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities

François-Marc Gagnon, Réal Ouellet, and Nancy Senior, for The Codex Canadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

“Gagnon, Ouellet and Senior have prepared a stunning bilingual edition of two remarkable and little-known manuscripts: the Codex Canadensis and the Histoire naturelle des Indes Occidentales by Louis Nicolas. They provide fascinating and fresh evidence for how a seventeenth-century European understood the peoples, flora, and fauna of the New World.”

Canada Prize in the Social Sciences

Reg Whitaker, Gregory S. Kealey, and Andrew Parnaby, for Secret Service: Political Policing in Canada from the Fenians to Fortress America (University of Toronto Press)

From the jury’s citation:

“Scholarly, well-written and chilling, Secret Service raises important questions about government paranoia in the so-called ‘peaceful kingdom,’ particularly after 9/11. The ordeals faced by  Maher Arar and others destroy the mythology of red serge coats and jingling spurs, but raise important questions about the balance between safety and civil liberties within a multi-ethnic society.”

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines

Michel Nareau, for Double jeu : Baseball et littératures américaines (Le Quartanier)

From the jury’s citation:

“Michel Nareau’s work stands out due to the originality and multidisciplinary treatment of the subject matter and the author’s in-depth, imaginative analyses that lead down various paths of reflection. This book is ambitious without being pretentious, both serious and humorous, transitioning seamlessly from the generic to the particular as it presents a broader perspective of the Pan-American geographical area.”

Prix du Canada en sciences sociales

Nicolas Vonarx, for Le Vodou haïtien : Entre médecine, magie et religion (Presses de l’Université Laval)

From the jury’s citation:

Le Vodou Haïtien : Entre médecine, magie et religion presents new and unsettling ideas on a subject that has long been taboo, stereotyped and underestimated, approaching it with imagination, daring and tenacity in scientific research.” 

This year’s juries include public intellectuals, prominent scholars and past winners. The biographies and photos of the 2013 winners, along with the full jury citations, are available on the Federation’s website at


The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is the national voice for Canada’s 85,000 scholars, students and practitioners in the humanities and social sciences.

Media inquiries:

Mélanie Béchard
Communications Officer
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
613-238-6112 ext. 303