Mary McEwan Memorial Award: Past Winners

The following scholars have been honoured for their excellent dissertations:

2015 - 2016:

Dr. Veronika Novoselova

Dr. Veronika Novoselova “Networked Publics, Networked Politics: Resisting Gender-Based Violent Speech in Digital Media”

This dissertation is a qualitative study of digital media that identifies and analyzes feminist responses to violent speech in networked environments across Canada and the United States between 2011 and 2015. Exploring how verbal violence is constitutive of and constituted by power relations in the feminist blogosphere, Dr. Novoselova asks the following set of research questions: How do feminist bloggers politicize and problematize instances of violent speech on digital media? In what ways are their networked interactions and self-representations reconfigured as a result of having to face hostile audiences? What modes of agency appear within feminist blogging cultures? This work engages with feminist theory (hooks, 2014; McRobbie, 2009; Stringer 2014), media studies (boyd, 2014; Lovink, 2011; Marwick 2013) and their intersections in the field of feminist media studies (Jane 2014; Keller, 2012). Drawing on interviews with the key players in the feminist blogosphere and providing a discursive reading of selected digital texts, Dr. Novoselova identifies networked resistive strategies including digital archiving, public shaming, strategic silence and institutional transformations. Dr. Novoselova argues that feminist responses to violent speech are varied and reflect not only long-standing concerns with community building and women’s voices in public context, but also emerging anxieties around self-branding, professional identity and a control over one's digital presence. This research underscores the importance of transformative capacities of networked feminist politics and contextualizes agentic modes of participation in response to problematic communication.

Bio: Dr. Veronika Novoselova holds an MA and a PhD from York University. In 2016 she completed her doctoral research in the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies. Her dissertation identifies, contextualizes, and analyzes responses to verbal violence on digital media platforms across Canada and the United States. Located at the intersections of media studies and feminist theory, her most recent research explores how digitally mediated confessions reveal negotiations of privilege and difference in feminist blogging cultures. In addition to teaching and research, for the past four years Veronika have been serving as a Social Media Coordinator at Feral Feminisms, a peer-reviewed multimedia journal based in Toronto.

2014 - 2015:

Dr. Helene Vosters

Dr. Helene Vosters “Good Mourning Canada? Canadian Military Commemoration and its Lost Subjects”

Using the Highway of Heroes as a point of departure, “Good Mourning Canada? Canadian Military Commemoration and its Lost Subjects” interrogates the role of Canadian military commemoration in the construction of nationalist narratives and gendered and raced hierarchies of grievability. Extending the work of feminist historians I argue that the displacement of women—as gender-marked bodies—from their historical role as the primary public mediators of mourning, left its new mediators conveniently unmarked. Unlike the invisibility of the marginalized or disavowed “other,” the privileged invisibility of military commemoration’s unmarked mediators is a powerful one that naturalizes the gendered and racialized essentialisms produced by processes of militarism, colonialism, and nationalism.

The theoretical and historical labour of Dr. Vosters' research is done in concert with a process of embodied inquiry in the form of three durational memorial performance projects—Impact Afghanistan War; Unravel: A Meditation on the Warp and Weft of Militarism; and Flag of Tears: Lament for the Stains of a Nation. Following performance and queer studies theorist José Esteban Muñoz, each of these projects engages a disidentificatory and intersectional feminist embrace of the gendered lexicons of violence, war, and peace as a mechanism for resisting the violent essentialisms of militarism and nationalism. As with my examination of the history of women’s lament, through the use of this disidentificatory performance approach my intention is to make strange military commemoration’s normalizing elegiac narratives by drawing attention to their construction and their performances of in/visibility.

Bio: Helene Vosters is an artist, scholar, and activist. She holds a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies (York University) and is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Manitoba). Helene’s work explores issues of state violence, the politics of its transmission into social memory, and the role of performance and aesthetic practices in mobilizing resistance. Helene’s scholarly contributions include articles in Canadian and international peer-reviewed academic journals (Performance Research, Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Journal of Practice-based Research in Theatre, and Canadian Theatre Review), and book sections in Performance Studies in Canada (forthcoming), Performing Objects and Theatrical Things and Theatre of Affect.

2013 - 2014

Dr. Julie Dowsett - "Feminism for Sale: Commodity Feminism, Femininity, and Subjectivity"

2012 - 2013

Dr. reese simpkins - Making Trans Multiple: Movement, Materiality, Becoming"

2011 - 2012

Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae - "(Re)Positioning Myself: Female and Black in Canada"

2010 - 2011

Dr. Lee Wing Hin (Vivian) - "I’m Not Homophobic, I’m Chinese”: Hong Kong Canadian Discourses of Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, and Multiculturalism in Same-Sex Marriage Debates, 2002-2006

2009 - 2010

Dr. Ruth KnechtelThe Mother and the Androgyne: Comparative Strategies of the New Woman

2008 - 2009

Dr. Jennifer Johnson - All's Fair in Love, War and Negotiations': Gender, Nation and Spaces of Corporate Capital at the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

2006 - 2007

Dr. Sharon Beckford - (Un)recovered Persephones: The Gendered Quest for Individuation in a Selection of Literature by Black Canadian Women Writers

2005 - 2006

Dr. Madelina Sunseri - Theorizing Nationalisms: Intersections of Gender, Nation, Culture and Colonialism in the Case of Oneida’s Decolonizing Nationalist Movement

Dr. Ilya Parkins - Material Modernity: A Feminist Theory of Modern Fashion

Dr. Heather Milne - Rites of Passage: Women’s Travel Writing in Canada, 1885-1914

Dr. Angela Failler - Edible Interpretations: From Melancholy Feminisms to Mourning Anorexia

2004 - 2005

 Dr. Jacqueline Petropoulos - Women Writing Race: The Politics of Identity and Theatrical Representation in Canada during the 1980s. 

2003 - 2004

Dr. Candida Rifkind - Labours of modernity: The literary left in English Canada, 1929-1939

Dr. Carla Rice - Becoming women: Body image, identity and difference in the passage to womanhood.

2002 - 2003

Dr. Carol Ricker-Wilson - Textual Fantasies: Urban High School Women as Critics and Narrators of Popular Romance

2001 - 2002

Dr. Sherilyn MacGregor - Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Gendered Politics of Care.

2000 - 2001

Dr. Ruth Fletcher - Post-Colonial Legal Forms: A Feminist Critique of Irish Abortion Law

1999 - 2000 

Dr. Verna Linney - The Flora Delanica: Mary Delaney and Women’s Art, Science and Friendship in Eighteenth Century England

1998 - 1999

Dr. Christine Ramsay - Masculinity and Processes of Intersubjectivity in the Films of David Cronenberg

Dr. Maja Korac - The Power of Gender in the Transition from State Socialism to Ethnic Nationalism, Militarization, and War: The Case of Post-Yugoslav States

1997 - 1998

Dr. Marietta Messmer - "I have a vice for voices": Reconstructing Emily Dickinson's Epistolary Subject Positions

1996 - 1997

Dr. Andrea O'Reilly - Ship and Harbor: Inn and Trail: Toni Morrison on Motherhood

1995 - 1996

Dr. Greg Malszecki - ‘He Shoots! He Scores!’ Metaphors of War in Sport and the Political Linguistics of Virility