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Deakin literature expert awarded prestigious international prize

15 September 2009

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.

News facts
  • First Trudeau Visiting Fellowship Prize awarded to Professor Clare Bradford
  • Prize an ‘unexpected and wonderful’ surprise
  • Will enable new and innovative areas of research to be identified and pursued

Media contact

Vanessa Barber
Deakin Media Relations
03 5227 1301; 0488 292 644
vanessa.barber@deakin.edu.au

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15th September 2009