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Deakin University's Professor Clare Bradford has been awarded the first $225,000 Trudeau Visiting Fellowship Prize from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.
Professor Bradford will be a Visiting Professor of literary studies at The University of Winnipeg in the 2009-2010 academic year. Her innovative research examines the interplay between children's literature and social practices, and particularly representations of Indigenous peoples and cultures in children's books.
"Dr 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," announced Trudeau Foundation President, Dr Pierre-Gerlier Forest.
"The University of Winnipeg has strong links with the Aboriginal community, and strengthening Aboriginal scholarship on campus in all disciplines is critically important," said Dr Lloyd Axworthy, President & Vice-Chancellor, The University of Winnipeg. "Dr Bradford's expertise will be a welcome addition to our students and faculty."
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 UWinnipeg 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.
"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."
"We will greatly benefit from Dr Bradford's presence and involvement on campus," said Dr Sandra Kirby, Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies. "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."
The prestigious $225,000 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.
Professor Bradford is the first ever International Trudeau Fellow and joins four Canadian Trudeau Fellows named this year. Professors Isabella Bakker (economy and gender, York University), Beverley Diamond (ethnomusicology, Memorial University of Newfoundland), Simon Harel (impact of migration on arts and literature, UniversitÃ© du QuÃ©bec Ã MontrÃ©al) and Jeremy Webber (constitutional law and Aboriginal rights, University of Victoria) were announced earlier this year. Dr Bradford is the first Trudeau Fellow hosted by The University of Winnipeg.
About Professor Clare Bradford
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. She was a member of an SSHRC-funded team, based at The University of Winnipeg, that focused on discourses of home in Canadian children's literature. Her books have attracted international prizes. Professor Bradford is currently President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature.
Professor Bradford's reflections
"Children's literature research is a relatively new field of study, and has often struggled to gain scholarly standing, despite the fact that books for children and adolescents comprise a significant proportion of published works and children's literature courses attract large and growing numbers of students. Children's books are of great importance because they introduce and advocate ideas and values to children. By examining the books provided to children in any culture, we can discern what kind of society adults propose to young readers, and what behaviours and attitudes are deemed desirable and undesirable."
About the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation
An independent and non-partisan Canadian charity, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation was established in 2001 as a living memorial to the former Prime Minister by his family, friends, and colleagues. It supports outstanding individuals who make meaningful contributions to critical social issues. To date, the Foundation has granted hundreds of major awards to top researchers and highly accomplished individuals, in Canada and abroad.