CHA Prizes

The Canadian Committee on Labour History is proud to award a prize for the best thesis on labour history written by undergratudate students.

Eugene A. Forsey Prizes in Canadian Labour and Working-Class History: Undergraduate ($500) 

The Canadian Committee on Labour History invites submissions for the Eugene A. Forsey Prize for undergraduate work on Canadian labour and working-class history. 

Prizes are awarded annually for the best undergraduate essay, or the equivalent are determined by a committee established by the executive of the CCLH. In the spirit of the journal Labour l Le Travail itself, the committee interprets the definition of Canadian labour and working-class history broadly. 

Undergraduate essays may be nominated by course instructors, but nominators are limited to one essay per competition. Additionally, authors may submit their own work. Essays not written at a university or college may be considered for the undergraduate awards. 

The Prize is supported by an anonymous donor. With the consent of the late Dr. Forsey's family, the CCLH chose to name the Prize in his honour because of his pioneering work in the field of Canadian labour history. Dr. Forsey was Research Director of the Canadian Congress of Labour and later the Canadian Labour Congress and also served on the committee which founded Labour l Le Travail. 

The deadline for submissions in the current competition is 1 January 2021. 

Prizes will be announced in a forthcoming issue of Labour l Le Travail and on the CHA/SHC website. The graduate prize is $1000 and the undergraduate prize $500. Previous winners of the Prize are listed on the CCLH website. To submit entries to the competition, an electronic copy must be sent by email attachment to Kirk Niergarth, kniergarth@mtroyal.ca.  

2016 – Winner

  • Camille Blanchard-Séguin

    Camille Blanchard-Séguin, « La participation ouvrière dans l’Institut canadien de Montréal en 1852 ». Thèse de premier cycle, Université d’Ottawa, 2016.

    Camille Blanchard-Bégin's investigation provides insight into the reading culture of French Canadian workers in the 19th century.  Using the 1852 records of the library of the Institut Canadien, Blanchard-Seguin discovers that between a fifth and a quarter of the library's members were identifiably working class.  She has also discovered examples from the early years of the Institute in which workers participated in governing the institute through service as directors.  Examining circulation records allows Blanchard-Bégin to show not just that workers used the library, but how they used it.  Borrowing novels, works on religion and philosophy -- from Balzac to Rousseau -- the worker members of the Institute had diverse interests, but, also, clearly intellectual curiosity.  Blanchard-Seguin's work in this well-executed study is an admirable first step in using library records to better understand the intellectual culture of French Canadian workers in the mid-19th century.

    Other laureates since 1996

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