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2016 Canada Prizes

Published on April 11, 2016

Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Two historians amongst the Canada Prize winners in the Humanities

Congratulations Brian and Caroline!

Brian Young
Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords
McGill-Queen’s University Press

Jury’s citation: 
Patrician Families and the Making of Quebec: The Taschereaus and McCords provides a fascinating journey through two of Quebec's élite families over four generations, from their arrival in North America in the eighteenth century to their uncertain prospects by the 1930s. Along the way, Brian Young masterfully shows how the McCords and Taschereaus were closely tied to larger economic, cultural, social and religious forces in Quebec, both shaping and being shaped by them. In addition to the impressive body of research that Young brings to this study, readers will also be drawn in by a book which has been beautifully produced with attractive illustrations that help make the story come alive.



Brian Young is James McGill Professor of Canadian History (emeritus) at McGill University. He is a founding member of the Montreal History Group and is an active member of the Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises (CIEQ). With interests across scholarship, the teaching of history, and its vulgarisation, he has served on the boards of Canada's History Society, the McCord Museum of Canadian History, le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), l’Institut d'histoire de l'Amérique française, and the Canadian Historical Association. He was a founding editor of the McGill-Queen's University Press series Studies on the History of Quebec / Études d'histoire du Québec. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he has twice won the Prix Lionel-Groulx, awarded annually for the best work on French America. Other awards include a Killam Research Fellowship, le Prix Gérard Parizeau, and the Governor General’s International Award for Canadian Studies (2010). Many of his books are available in translation and seven have been published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Caroline Durand
Nourrir la machine humaine : Nutrition et alimentation au Québec, 1860-1945
McGill-Queen’s University Press

 Jury’s citation: Caroline Durand’s book is an extraordinarily well researched study on nutrition in Quebec between the industrial revolution and the Second World War. This monumental work of exceptional scope sits at the intersection of social, cultural, health and women’s histories. The culmination of exhaustive research, Nourrir la machine humaine compares, in a direct and dynamic style, a plethora of writings on nutrition and cooking practices (literature, cookbooks, newspaper articles, marketing pamphlets, legal texts, religious tracts, medical textbooks, etc.). By intertwining large and small histories without ever losing sight of the Canadian, continental and imperial contexts, this original perspective shows how the evolution of nutritional practices is shaped not only by personal beliefs and individual choices, but by complex mechanisms driven by industry, research, the Catholic church, and, ultimately, national and international policy. Thanks to Caroline Durand, the research community and amateur history buffs will see their pantries in a whole new light. Now when they open the cupboard, they will see a strategic battleground where powerful players have long operated in the shadows, placing scientific progress at the service of social conservatism.


Assistant professor of history and Canadian studies at Trent University,Caroline Durand has conducted research on cultural phenomena including popular music, cuisine, and modernity, and on ideas such as nationalism and liberalism. Her research contributes to the social, cultural, political, and intellectual history of Quebec and French Canada, and the wider field of critical food studies.

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