The Canadian Association of Slavists / Association canadienne des slavistes Article of the Year Award
To mark of the achievement of the 60th volume of Canadian Slavonic Papers / Revue canadienne des slavistes in 2018, the Canadian Association of Slavists and Taylor & Francis established the “Article of the Year” Award, which honours the best article published in the Association’s journal, Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes, in each completed volume (calendar year).
A committee of the editorial and advisory boards, appointed by the President of the CAS, will consider a shortlist of up to five articles selected by the Editor. A certificate and $250 will be awarded to the winner at the Annual General Meeting of the CAS the following spring of each year.
The 2021 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award goes to Ronan Hervouet for his article “Dignity, Arbitrary Rule, and Emancipation in an Authoritarian Regime: Ethnographic Remarks on the Uprising in Belarus.”
In his essay, Ronan Hervouet identifies and skilfully contrasts two forms of dignity that Belarusian citizens rely upon to keep their individual and collective sense of worth in the context of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s repressive political regime. For those citizens supporting or participating in the protest movements in Belarus, dignity plays a central role in their struggle for emancipation. However, relying on his work as an ethnographer, Hervouet rethinks agency within authoritarian contexts and masterfully maps other strategies for attaining a sense of esteem that does not incorporate political claims for freedom and democracy or represent an open critique of the regime. By so doing, he has shown that claims to dignity, often expressed as longing for peace and stability, can go together with arbitrary rule and authoritarian regimes. Readers will find this essay insightful for the author’s analysis of dignity’s ambiguous role in contemporary Belarus.
The article will be available for free access from Taylor & Francis online until the end of June 2022.
The 2020 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award was presented to James M. White for his article “Russian Orthodox Monasticism in Riga Diocese, 1881-1917.”
In this erudite and highly engaging essay James White reconstructs the social and religious histories of three Russian Orthodox convents and one Russian Orthodox monastery, all of which were established in Riga diocese in the late imperial period. He masterfully charts the ways in which non-local and local religious, civic, and government leaders combined resources and created Orthodox religious networks throughout the empire and abroad to transform a backwater diocese into a prominent Russian Orthodox site that began to compete successfully with institutions of Lithuanian German Lutheranism and German civilization prior to the onset of World War I. The article constitutes a major contribution to the histories of religion, regional developments, and empire-building and russification within the imperial realm as well as global Orthodoxy.
The 2019 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award was presented to Jack J. B. Hutchens for his article “Julian Stryjkowski: Polish, Jewish, Queer.”
In his carefully and clearly written study Jack J.B. Hutchens explores complex questions of identity and their literary expression in relation to a major figure of Polish literary, cultural and political life in the post-WWII era. His informed and sensitive readings of three major novels from three different decades shine much light on Stryjkowski’s struggles with what it is to be Polish, Jewish, queer (and communist) and how he did and did not reconcile those things in his life and work. Hutchens also locates the author’s work within the genre of autofiction, demonstrating how that association is important for engaging with it. Readers already familiar with Stryjkowski will find this essay enlightening and insightful, and it is also likely to spur others to seek out these novels and to confront the questions they explore, all of which are fundamental to understanding not only Stryjkowski and his work, but also Poland’s on-going struggles with them.
The first annual Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award was presented to Jeffrey S. Hardy for his article “Of Pelicans and Prisoners: Avian–Human Interactions in the Soviet Gulag.”
Here is the jury’s citation:
In a beautifully written and well-researched essay, Jeffrey Hardy makes a major contribution to Soviet environmental history by examining the complex relationship between humans and birds in the Gulag. He deftly demonstrates the ways in which different varieties of bird species were used scientifically, how they supplemented meagre food supplies, and how they provided some inmates with emotional support and others with an impending sense of death. Even some of the Gulag’s gang members used images of birds to decorate their own bodies as well as those of their victims. Hardy’s article is a powerful reminder of humanity’s overall resilience in the most difficult circumstances.