Graduate News: Scholarship Winners

There are some good news and bad news from the Graduate History Program. The good news on scholarship winners and new students is first. The bad news about the RAship program will follow.

Department of History is delighted to announce that this year we have two winners of the Avie Bennett Scholarship in Canadian History, which is awarded to students in their fifth year of the PhD, providing them time away from teaching to complete their dissertations. These are Colin McCullough and Jay Young. The applicant pool was very strong, and it was a difficult choice for the Avie Bennett Board, so everyone is particularly happy that there were two winners. McCullough's dissertation focuses on the popularity of peacekeeping as a way to explore the changing nature of Canadian national identity from 1956 to 2001. This involves looking at the production, dissemination, and reception of messages about peacekeeping. The dissertation argues that representations of peacekeeping have evolved over the last fifty years and reflect changing constructions of race, gender and national identity in both English and French Canada. More than simply an act of state, McCullough argues that peacekeeping attained almost iconic status as an aspect of Canada's sense of identity because of the ways in which it was transformed by the government, the national newspaper press, the education system, and by Canadian vernacular culture. Young's dissertation, "Searching for a Better Way: Metropolitan Growth and Subway Life in Toronto, 1942-1980", examines the development of the city's subway system during a time of rapid urban expansion in the Toronto area. He uses the subway to trace the continuities and contrasts between two eras of city building: the post-war period that witnessed the building of both expressways and rapid transit in Metro Toronto as means to reduce congestion and promote development, followed by a period of public policy, beginning with Premier Bill Davis's 1971 decision to cancel the Spadina Expressway, that emphasized transit use and recognized the destructive impact of the car on the urban fabric. Young's dissertation pays particular attention to political debates over the financing and implementation of rapid transit, the impacts of subway construction on residents and local merchants, the commemorationof subway construction workers, the regulation of public space within the system, and the ways in which the subway altered the city's built and natural landscape. The Department thanks the Avie Bennett Foundation and in congratulating Colin and Jay!

Angela Hug, a second-year student working on Ancient Roman history, who was awarded a SSHRC scholarship, has been upgraded to a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship. Congratulations to Angela for this prestigious award!

The incoming students that will be starting in the Graduate History Program in September are introduced below. We have fourteen full-time and three part-time students joining us to begin their PhDs. These are: Hayley Andrew (Britain), Charles Bain (Canada), Ashlee Bligh (early modern Europe), Madeleine Chartrand (Britain), Augustin D'Almeida (Africa), Erin Dolmage (Canada), Mark Dorsey (Canada), Abubacar Fofana Leon (Africa and Cuba, part-time), Mary Franks (Ancient), Douglas Hunter (Canada, part-time), Mary Janigan (Canada, part-time), Carly Murdoch (Ancient), Stacey Nation-Knapper (U.S. and Canada), Daniel Ross (Canada), Carly Simpson (Canada), Emily Vey (Canada), and Maria Wong (Latin America). To date we have nineteen full-time and four part-time MA students. These are: Daniel Aspinall (Canada), Keri-Lyn Durant (Canada), Ana Maria Fernandes-Iria (Atlantic World), Chantelle Flowers (Canada and U.S., part-time), William Goldbloom (Canada), Houman Hossein Zadeh (Canada), Megan Houston (Canada), Sara Howdle (Canada), Matthew Hyland (Britain and Europe), Sewsen Igbu (Canada), Eun Hye Kim (Ancient), Alana McKnight (Canada, part-time), Katherine Munro (Canada), Miguel Narvez (Latin America), David Owen (Ancient and Environmental), Erika Pohl (Canada), Victor Reano (Latin America, part-time), Shayla Schipper (U.S.), David Silver (U.S.), Kylie Stasila (Britain), Jackson Tait (Britain and Europe), Frances Todaro (Europe, part-time), and Jonathan Zworth (Canada and U.S.). There will be an opportunity to meet them all at the Graduate History Program Orientation on Friday, September 10, 2010. Lunch starts at 12:15.

The Department regrets to inform that the Graduate History Program Research Assistantship Pilot Program will come to an end next summer. Those who have been awarded RAs for 2010-11 will be able to hold them, but the RAship competition will be suspended after this year. The RAship Pilot Program, which has been running since 2007, has been a great success in providing senior Ph.D. students time away from being a Teaching Assistant to complete their dissertations in a timely fashion.

The Faculty of Graduate Studies had to suspend the RAship program because of financial shortfalls, but they hope to reinstate it when they can afford to make RAs available to all graduate programs at York.