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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 2009

CAUT’s 2008 Sarah Shorten Awards Presented

Award winners Patricia Demers (right) & Audrey Kobayashi with CAUT president Penni Stewart at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa Nov. 28.
Award winners Patricia Demers (right) & Audrey Kobayashi with CAUT president Penni Stewart at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa Nov. 28.
Audrey Kobayashi and Patricia Demers were honoured at CAUT’s November Council meeting as the recipients of the 2008 Sarah Shorten Awards.

The award is presented to women who have demonstrated leadership, served as models and mentors, de­veloped innovative programs and contributed significantly to the advancement of women in Canada’s post-secondary community.

Audrey Kobayashi is Queen’s Research Chair and professor of geography and women’s studies at Queen’s University in Kingston. Her teaching focuses on race and gender and her scholarship on human rights, immigration and Japanese Canadians is well known around the world.

She recently co-edited the highly acclaimed book A Companion to Gender Studies, and her article “Multiculturalism: Representing a Canadian Institution” is widely read as a groundbreaking critique of multicultural issues.

“It is not a stretch to say that her research has changed the face of scholarship in geography,” said University of Toronto professor Minelle Mahtani in a nomination letter.

“What makes Dr. Kobayashi stand out is her commitment to chal­len­ging systemic racial and gender bias in both the academic and policy worlds … Her research has shifted the direction of the discipline by offering a much needed, critical perspective on race, identity and multiculturalism in Canada.”

Patricia Demers is a University of Al­berta Professor specializing in early modern women’s writing, Shakespearean and Jacobean drama, 17th century poetry, and biblical and children’s literature, among others.

A respected and award-winning teacher and distinguished academic, Prof Demers has brought international scholarly attention to lost or neglected works written by women. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles and in addition to her university awards, recently received a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award that recognizes inspirational women for their outstanding contributions and achievements in the community.

“Patricia Demers’ energy is pro­digious and her achievement quite breathtaking,” said Patricia Clements, professor emeritus of English and former dean of arts at the University of Alberta, in her nomination letter.

“Her generous and excellent scholarship has made a difference both to the wide community with­in and beyond the academy that is seeking to understand more fully the history of women in culture and to the ever-widening group of graduate students with whom she shares her research and to whom she provides such very high-quality mentoring.”

Profs Koba­yashi and Demers are the 19th and 20th recipients of the award since its establishment in 1990 to honour the late Sarah Shorten, who served as vice-president and president of CAUT in the 1980s.