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The Neil Sutherland Article Prize

This award honours the pioneering work of Canadian historian Neil Sutherland in the history of children and youth by recognizing outstanding contributions to the field. The prize is given out on a biennial basis under the auspices of the History of Children and Youth Group of the Canadian Historical Association.

The award will be given on May 31, 2016 at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association that will take place at the University of Calgary. 

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Winners

2014

Jennifer Robin Terry, “‘They ‘Used to Tear Around the Campus Like Savages’:  Children’s and Youth’s Activities in the San Tomas Internment Camp, 1942-1945” The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 5, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 87-117.

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The actions and reactions of young people under strenuous conditions are the central pillars of Jennifer Robin Terry’s article “‘They ‘Used to Tear Around the Campus Like Savages’:  Children’s and Youth’s Activities in the San Tomas Internment Camp, 1942-1945,” a methodologically innovative and important contribution to the history of childhood and youth.

Terry makes creative and insightful use of a wide range of evidence – from rules and structures to children’s games and food allotment, to shed light upon a neglected area of study:  the place of children and youth in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. 

Drawing upon both official documents and memoirs, Terry clearly demonstrates young people’s agency in this challenging context, showing that they both influenced and resisted the norms of camp life, even as they were themselves being shaped and governed by the restraints imposed by interned adults and their Japanese captors.  The result is an engagingly written article which keeps children’s lived experiences at the forefront, while shedding important light on the wider intergenerational experience of internment.

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2012

Rachel Hope Cleves, “ ‘Heedless Youth’: The Revolutionary War Poetry of Ruth Bryant (1760-83).” William and Mary Quarterly 67, no. 3 (July 2010):519-548.

Cleves’ article, which explores the experience of girls and war is meticulously researched, insightful, and skillfully contextualized. As Cleves herself notes, “Largely excluded by their gender and youth from political assemblies, academies, and the army, girls left few textual clues about their beliefs.” Cleves weaves together the various threads of Ruth Bryant’s poetry and its themes of domesticity, gender, family and patriotism, finding a young girl’s voice in the historical record. The committee agreed that Cleves’ work is an original and exciting contribution to an understanding of the experiences of children and youth and war, and to the field of the history of childhood. 

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2010

Ellen Boucher, “The Limits of Potential: Race, Welfare, and the Interwar Extension of Child Emigration to Southern Rhodesia,” Journal of British Studies 48 (October 2009): 914-934.

Boucher skillfully mixes narrative with interpretation, developing a well-crafted, engaging, accessible piece of scholarship.  The committee was particularly impressed with the subtlety and range of Boucher's use of evidence.  She deftly worked back-and-forth between her case study of the Rhodesia Fairbridge Memorial Association and larger developments in child welfare, child psychology, empire building, and other global processes of modernity.  She accomplished this impressive feat without losing the thread or persuasiveness of the argument.  Her discussion of how race and class hierarchies in Empire limit the "potential" of children has widespread implications in her particular study of British colonialism in Africa and in other historical contexts.

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2008

Rhonda L. Hinther, “ Raised in the Spirit of Class Struggle: Children, Youth, and the Interwar Ukrainian Left in Canada,” /Labour/Le Travail/ 60 (Fall 2007), 43-76.We found it very solidly researched, well-grounded in, and balancing of, diverse literatures, and useful in addressing the experience and decision-making of the young people themselves.Honorable Mention:Stephen Robertson, "'Boys, of Course, Cannot be Raped': Age, Homosexuality and the Redefinition of Sexual Violence in New York City, 1880-1955," /Gender & History/, 18, 2 (August 2006), 357-79.