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International expert on children's literature Professor Clare Bradford from Deakin University has been awarded the first Can$225,000 Trudeau Visiting Fellowship Prize from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in Canada.
Professor Bradford, whose research examines the interplay between children's literature and social practices, and particularly representations of Indigenous peoples and cultures in children's books, will be a Visiting Professor of literary studies at The University of Winnipeg in Canada.
"The Trudeau Fellowship is an unexpected and wonderful surprise to me, especially as I am the first International Fellow," said Professor Bradford. "It will enable me to identify and pursue new and innovative areas of research, to learn from my Canadian colleagues at The University of Winnipeg and beyond, and to encourage collaboration among scholars in the field of children's literature and allied disciplines."
The prestigious Trudeau Fellowships are awarded for a three-year period and include an award and a travel, research and dissemination allowance. Trudeau Fellowships are awarded annually through a rigorous nomination process to highly accomplished Canadians who question society's worldviews and teach the importance of responsible and engaged citizenship. The Visiting Trudeau Fellowship allows Canadian universities and research institutions to invite an outstanding international or national expert to participate in their activities for a few semesters.
The prize was announced on Monday, 14 September in Canada. Trudeau Foundation President, Dr Pierre-Gerlier Forest said: "Professor Bradford has been made a Trudeau Fellow because she creatively focuses on contemporary issues of importance to all Canadians and is truly engaged in reshaping our society."
"We will greatly benefit from Professor Bradford's presence and involvement on campus," said Dr Sandra Kirby, Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies at The University of Winnipeg. "Her research in children's texts complements that of our own faculty, and her arrival here is timely, as we are starting a new program, a Master of Arts in English with a Focus in Cultural Studies, that draws on her area of research."
Professor Bradford believes the three organisations share a common commitment. "I believe Deakin University, the Trudeau Foundation and The University of Winnipeg all have a commitment to research that has an impact and is relevant to people's lives," she said. "My research explores how powerful children's books can be and the influence they have on our future citizens."
From March to December 2010, Professor Bradford will be teaching and supervising graduate students, collaborating and networking with scholars in the Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures at The University of Winnipeg and in the rest of Canada, chairing symposia and conferences and hosting a meeting of the Board of the International Research Society in Children's Literature.
Professor Clare Bradford is in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.
She will be available for interview from Monday, 21 September. To arrange an interview please contact Vanessa Barber, Deakin Media Relations, (03) 5227 1301 or 0488 292 644.
Clare Bradford is a professor in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
Her research examines the interplay between children's literature and the social practices it represents and advocates. She has focused especially on representations of Indigenous peoples and cultures in children's texts, and on Indigenous textuality for children, publishing two books on this topic: Reading Race: Aboriginality in Australian Children's Literature (2001), and Unsettling Narratives: Postcolonial Readings of Children's Literature (2007), in addition to many essays.
Unsettling Narratives is the first comparative study of settler society literatures for children, embracing Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American texts.
A second strand of research examining how children's literature following the end of the Cold War has engaged with political, social and environmental questions is addressed in her book New World Orders in Children's Literature: Utopian Transformations (2008), co-authored with three Australian colleagues.
A third collaborative project focuses on Australian children's texts since 1990, exploring the values they promote with regard to multiculturalism, immigration and community relations.
Professor Bradford is currently President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature and her books have attracted international prizes.