Best PhD Dissertation in Canadian Studies (2024)

This prize is awarded annually to an outstanding interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation completed at a Canadian university on a Canadian subject that best advances our knowledge and understanding of Canada and Canadian Studies, and is defended during the preceding calendar year.

Award: The winner will receive a $150 prize and a one-year membership in the CSN. The winner will have his or her dissertation submitted by the CSN to the International Council for Canadian Studies - Conseil international d'études canadiennes for consideration for that organization's Best Doctoral Thesis in Canadian Studies Award.

Nomination: The nomination must come from an institutional member in good standing with the CSN. A list of institutional members is available on the CSN website. Institutional members may submit only one doctoral dissertation for consideration each year.The completed application must be submitted to the CSN no later than 15 July. Entries must be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Eligibility: The doctoral dissertation must have been written and successfully defended as part of a doctoral program at a Canadian university in 2023. Doctoral dissertations that are comparative works will be considered.

The application must include the following:
1. An electronic copy of the doctoral dissertation
2. An abstract of the doctoral dissertation written by its author
3. A copy of the curriculum vitae of the author of the doctoral dissertation
4. A letter of nomination from the director or chair of the institutional member unit.

Selection: A three-member interdisciplinary panel composed of CSN-RÉC members will select one winner and when appropriate, an honourable mention. Special attention will be given to dissertations that transcend disciplinary boundaries and demonstrate innovation in thought and-or methodology. The selection panel reserves the right not to award the prize in any given year. The winner will normally be announced by the CSN in November. There will be no appeals of the decision of this interdisciplinary panel.


Previous winners of this prize

Claire Thomson, Digging Roots and Remembering Relatives

Margaret Anne Lindsay, Especially in this Free Country: Webs of Empire, Slavery and the Fur Trade

Katrina Dunn, Empty House: Real Estate and Theatricality in Vancouver’s Downtown

Marie-Charlotte Franco, La décolonisation et l’autochtonisation au Musée McCord (1992-2019) : les rapports de collaboration avec les Premiers Peuples et de l’inclusion de l’art contemporain des Premières Nations dans les expositions

Melanie Dennis Unrau, Tend the Rusted Steel Like a Shepherd: Petropoetics of Oil Work in Canada

Warren Bernauer, Extractive Hegemony in the Arctic: Energy Resources and Political Conflict in Nunavut, 1970-2017

Erin Millions, By Education and Conduct: Educating Trans-Imperial Indigenous Fur-Trade Children in the Hudson Bay’s Company Territories and the British Empire, 1820s to 1870s

Brittany Luby, Drowned: Anishinabek Economies and Resistance to Hydroelectric Development in the Winnipeg River Drainage Basin, 1873-1975

Griffith, Jane. News from School: Language, Time and Place in the 1890s Indian Boarding Schools in Canada

Cranston- Reimer, Sharlee. Building New Worlds: Gender and Embodied Non-Conformity and Imagining Otherwise in Contemporary Canadian Literatures.

Van Huizen, Philip. Flooding the Border: Development, Politics and Environmental Controversy in the Canadian-US. Skagit Valley

Jaime Yard, Working Natures: An Ethnography of Love, Labour, and Accumulation on the British Columbian Coast

Samantha Burton, Canadian girls in London: negotiating home and away in the British World at the turn of the century