Article Prize

The Canadian Association of Slavists 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.

For more information, please contact the Editor, Rolf Hellebust, at or visit the Taylor & Francis webpage.

2023 Winner

The 2023 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award goes to Serhy Yeklchyk for his article “Uphill from the Maidan: centres of power in Kyiv’s symbolic geography.”

Jury members Maria Grazia Bartolini (University of Milan), Piotr Kajak (University of Warsaw), and Tanya Richardson (University of Waterloo) prepared the following citation:

Serhy Yekelchyk’s article provides a longue durée spatial history of central Kyiv in order to illuminate the city’s social and symbolic landscapes of power and why the decisive battles on two central streets during the Revolution of Dignity unfolded as they did. Using archival materials, reports by contemporary officials and observers, and a variety of secondary materials, Yekelchyk provides a clear and vivid account of the shifts in the topography of power in the city between 1686 and the present. While Tsarist, Russian imperial, and Soviet authorities’ decisions regarding where to build streets, government buildings, elite residences, and public spaces for the display of power are key in this story, we also learn about Hetman Ivan Mazepa’s autonomous city planning efforts and the unintended ways in which urban spaces could be appropriated for cultural and political resistance. This exemplary scholarship demonstrates how detailed urban microhistory can illuminate wider political histories and answer questions arising from recent political events.

The jury also gives honourable mention to Alex Averbuch for his article “Russophone Literature of Ukraine: Self-Decolonization, Deterritorialization, Reclamation.”

The jury writes:

Alex Averbuch’s study discusses the important sociolinguistic case of Russophone Ukrainian authors who have either switched to Ukrainian or continued using Russian during the Russo-Ukrainian War. It is important to understand the reasoning of those who have or have not given up Russian (the second language of independent Ukraine) under war circumstances. As Averbuch shows, on the basis of systematic and original research, answering questions about self-decolonization and linguistic affiliation requires understanding that Ukrainian literature/culture is a phenomenon composed of several (multicultural and multilingual) traditions and experiences.

The articles will be available in open access on Taylor and Francis until June 2025.

2022 Winner

The 2022 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award goes to Jeff Hayton for his article “Wutanfall: emotional entanglements in the East German punk subculture.”

Jury members Bohdan Harasymiw (University of Calgary), Mariya Lesiv (Memorial University), and Lavinia Stan (St. Francis Xavier University) prepared the following citation:

Instead of presenting punk rock as having been simply in confrontation with the Communist East German regime, as is conventionally done, this article depicts the relationship as one of interdependence. Viewed through the analytical lens of entanglement, the author demonstrates how the punk movement was kept alive despite repression. It became a search for authenticity as well as a protest. This case study goes beyond the existing literature, opening up a new vista on protest movements in the GDR and in general. The punk subculture was able to thrive due to the attention paid to it by the Stasi, unlike in Western societies, where it was effectively co-opted by commercialism. A first-rate article, enjoyable and instructive from many disciplinary perspectives.

2021 Winner

The 2021 Canadian Association of Slavists Article of the Year Award was presented to Ronan Hervouet for his article “Dignity, Arbitrary Rule, and Emancipation in an Authoritarian Regime: Ethnographic Remarks on the Uprising in Belarus.”

Here is the jury’s citation:

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.

2020 Winner

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.”

Here is the jury’s citation:

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.

2019 Winner

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.”

Here is the jury’s citation:

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.

2018 Winner

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.