CHA Prizes

The purpose of the Hilda Neatby Prize in Women's and Gender History, awarded since 1982 by the Canadian Committee in Women's History at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association, is to encourage the publication of scholarly articles on women's and gender history. 

The 2021 prize competition is now closed. The prize will be attributed at the CHA Annual Meeting in June 2021.

2020 – Winner

  • Marilou Tanguay

    Marilou Tanguay. « La page féminine du Devoir, un « espace public alternatif » ? Une étude de cas des mécanismes d’exclusion et de contrôle du « féminin » et du « féminisme » dans le quotidien (1965-1975) », Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, volume 72, numéro 3, hiver 2019, p. 29-59.

    As a particular chapter in the history of the press, the women's pages of the major dailies have often been associated with a kind of journalistic ghetto in which fashion, cooking and childcare themes dominate. For this reason, they have been conceived as a discursive forum for the reproduction of gender roles. By studying the women's page of the newspaper Le Devoir from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Marilou Tanguay reveals a more complex reality. She observes how, in these years of the re-emergence of the feminist movement, this forum made it possible to inform women readers about various issues such as abortion, the place of women in politics, unequal access to higher education and discrimination in the job market. Thus, within this "alternative discursive space", certain central demands of the women's movement could be transmitted. The disappearance of the women's page in 1971, in the very name of the obsolescence of such segregation, led to a paradoxical decrease in the space given to feminist issues in the newspaper. According to Tanguay, the phenomenon attests to the strong persistence of a masculine and sexist culture within the media sphere. Of this rich contribution, the jury particularly appreciated the solidity of the demonstration, the vigour of the argument and the attention paid to the issues of intersectionality.

     Special Mention

    Daniel Poitras. « Mettre en scène l’exclusion de l’histoire. Les femmes à l’université et le concours Miss Quartier Latin (1950-1963) », Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, volume 72, numéro 3, hiver 2019, p. 41-71.

    The jury awarded a "special mention" to Daniel Poitras for this study of cultural history that stands out for its originality and sophistication. Re-reading against the grain the sources of the student movement produced by its male leaders, this article features the participants of the annual "Miss Latin Quarter" contest. The author uses this carnival event, inaugurated at Université Montréal in 1950, to observe the tensions introduced in student culture by the new influx of women into the university ranks. In a metonymic way, the competition reveals a whole symbolic order in transformation. The repeated efforts of the organizers to re-establish gender roles in this Mecca of knowledge undoubtedly signaled the anguish associated with a loss of privilege. While the analysis focuses on the symbolic violence implied by this annual ritual, it also detects the efforts of resistance and subversion by participants seeking to break free, to a greater or lesser extent, from the normative discourses held against them. One of the qualities of the article is certainly that it mobilizes the grid for the analysis of regimes of historicity for the benefit of gender history; the borrowing allows us to shed more light on the way in which female students - rhetorically assimilated to the eternal feminine - were kept away from making history.

2019 – Winner

  • Denyse Baillargeon, Josette Brun & Estelle Lebel

    Denyse & cie
    Denyse Baillargeon, Josette Brun & Estelle Lebel
    , « J’vois pas pourquoi j’travaillerais pas » : le travail salarié des femmes mariées à l’émission télévisée Femme d’aujourd’hui (Société Radio-Canada, 1965-1982)

    Denyse Baillargeon, Josette Brun and Estelle Lebel propose with their article a journey into a media universe that has profoundly marked a Quebec in the midst of a post Quiet Revolution bubbling. The interpretation of more than 130 segments of the Femme d'aujourd'hui program broadcasted on Radio-Canada between 1965 and 1982 provides a rich and methodical analysis of the representations of women's work then in vogue and sometimes criticized, sometimes reinforced, through the reports, roundtables and interviews aired as part of this popular program. These historians brilliantly demonstrate how the messages conveyed with regard to domestic work and wage labour are sometimes in tune with the context of the time, but they also sometimes reveal denunciation and demands. All in all, the portrait drawn here illustrates, in all its complexity, the tension between a liberal feminism and a more radical feminism.


2018 – Winner

  • Sophie Doucet

    Sophie Doucet, « Sur le chemin du paradis : les joies d’aimer, de croire et de s’accomplir de Marie-Louise Globensky (1849-1919) ». Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, Vol 70, no 3 (Hiver 2017), p. 5-29.

    Sophie Doucet transports us into nineteenth-century Montreal bourgeois life with this gender and class analysis of Marie-Louise Globensky’s diaries. She significantly contributes to the recent history of emotions by paying attention to the joy of little and big occasions. Often neglected in historical literature, joy as an emotion is impressively showcased in this study.

2017 – Winner

  • Mélanie Morin-Pelletier

    Mélanie Morin-Pelletier, « ‘The Anxious Waiting Ones at Home’: Deux familles canadiennes plongées dans le tourment de la Grande Guerre, »  Histoire sociale/Social History XLVII, 94 (Juin/June 2014) : 353-368.

    In her article, Mélanie Morin-Pelletier plunges us into the history of emotions by examining the intimate correspondence of a mother to her son and a wife to her husband during the First World War. Moving from everyday Montreal to a farm in Alberta, Morin-Pelletier provides us with the testimony of two women, one an urban mother and the other a rural wife, both anxious and determined to reassure son or husband who had left for the war front. The analysis of these two rare collections of letters, written in English, reminds us of the richness epistolary sources can bring to a better understanding of the feelings of women, men and children in relation to the past. This article illustrates that the work done by women on the homefront was at the same time practical and emotional because the impact of the war had changed the lives of families and increased the responsibilities of women on a daily basis. Finally, this convincing and moving article is a very good example of bilingual research and writing.

2016 – Winner

  • Louise Bienvenue & Guy Laperrière

    Louise Bienvenue & Guy Laperrière, « ‘Sans elles, le collège ne serait pas ce qu’il est’ : Le travail des Petites Sœurs de la Sainte-Famille dans les collèges classiques au Québec ». Histoire sociale/Social History, vol. XLVII, no 93 (Mai/May 2014), p. 5-35.

     In “‘Sans elles, le collège ne serait pas ce qu’il est’: Le travail des Petites Sœurs de la Sainte-Famille dans les collèges classiques au Québec,” Louise Bienvenue et Guy Laperrière offer a careful and thorough analysis of the work of the Little Sisters of the Holy Family (PSSF) Petites Sœurs de la Sainte-Famille (PSSF) in the classical colleges of Quebec before the Quiet Revolution. More specifically, Bienvenue and Laperrière show us the spiritual significance of the work of PSSF in colleges and its economic contribution, revealing the story of a little-known congregation in Quebec historiography of education and religious communities but where it played an important role. In this very well structured and well written article, the authors address a rarely studied subject that is rich in women’s history, by effectively and judiciously using various secondary and primary sources that are in evidence in its analysis.

2015 – Winner

  • Aline Charles

    Aline Charles, « Femmes âgées, pauvres et sans droit de vote, mais… citoyennes ? Lettres au premier ministre du Québec, 1935-1936 ». Recherches féministes, vol. 26, nº 2, 2013, p. 51-70.
    In her article, « Femmes âgées, pauvres et sans droit de vote, mais… citoyennes ? Lettres au premier ministre du Québec, 1935-1936, » Aline Charles analyzes an important collection of letters sent to Liberal premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau by women asking him to account for old age pensions promised in October 1935, but still unpaid in January 1936. Taking up the pen, these older women from the working classes showed that neither the right to the provincial vote nor association connections were necessary for them to self-identify as citizens worthy of the consideration and support of the state. With great flair, Charles shows that these women, falling far short of the stereotypes of resignation and passivity sometimes attributed to their class, were active, visible and able to claim their due. If these women often evinced their misery in their writing, a great many among them asked for a pension simply because they felt they had the right to do so, like other Canadian men and women. Aline Charles contributes not only to the history of women in Quebec and Canada, but also to a new historiography of old age while adding to our understanding of Quebec history in the 1930s. Her work stands at the intersection of gender, age and poverty, contributing significantly to current reflections and debates on the need for, and the future of, important social measures, such as old age pensions.

2014 – Winner

  • Thierry Nootens

    Thierry Nootens, « "Des privations ne peuvent pas constituer une fortune" : les droits financiers des femmes mariées de la bourgeoisie québécoise face au marché?, 1900-1930 », Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française, vol. 65, n° 1, 2011, p. 59-96.
    The history of women and feminism has shown that from the late 19th century onward, married women in Quebec were at a disadvantage in comparison to those in the rest of Canada because of legal restrictions imposed upon them by the Civil Code. What were the consequences of this judicial inferiority for married women apart from property ownership when they were sometimes privileged or protected by their marriage contract? In his article, “‘Des privations ne peuvent pas constituer une fortune.’ Les droits financiers des femmes mariées de la bourgeoisie québécoise face au marché, 1900-1930,” Thierry Nootens analyzes 71 legal cases to understand better the experiences of these women. Going far beyond a study of the law, his research reveals the difficulties and constraints weighing upon them, as well as the ambiguities and loopholes found in marriage contracts. He demonstrates that while some women managed to assert their rights in the event of conflict, others were victims of their husband’s unwise transactions, unenforceable clauses and misappropriation of funds. The article unveils the wives’ fragile situation and exposes the difference between that which the law permits or requires, the decisions made by husbands, the constraints imposed by economic hardship and the difficulty of upholding the rights of wives in a market economy.

2013 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2012 – Winner

  • Benoît Grenier

    Benoît Grenier. "Réflexion sur le pouvoir féminin au Canada sous le Régime français: Le cas de la "seigneuresse" Marie-Catherine Peuvret (1667-1739)". Histoire Sociale/Social History, 42, no 84 (2009) 299-326.

    Benoît Grenier's article is a stimulating contribution to the debates on female power in colonial societies. It subtly traces how patriarchal society oversaw women's autonomy by studying a group of widows and “seigneuresses” and by focusing on the specific and exceptional case of Marie-Catherine Peuvret. The author shows that in New France, feminine power depends mostly on special circumstances, such as the age of the widow and the situation of male heirs. In addition, he suggests that women who retain control of their seigneurial land are distinguished by their strength of character and seemed to be exposed to challenge by their tenants and neighbors males. With this article, Benoît Grenier stimulates and enhances the historical debate on privileged women in New France. He also encourages historians to simultaneously consider the social constraints, opportunities for individual autonomy and possible reactions towards an unfamiliar authority figure in their understanding of power, its exercise and its symbolism.

2011 – Winner

  • Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert

    Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert, « Québécoises et Ontariennes en voiture! L’expérience culturelle et spatiale de l’automobile au féminin (1910-1945) ». La Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, vol 63 nos. 2-3, automne 2009-hiver 2010.

    Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert's analysis of both perceptions and realities about female automobile drivers in Ontario and Quebec in the early to mid-twentieth century compels historians to think differently about the relationship between gender, technology, and consumption. The author identified more similarities than differences across the linguistic and cultural divide. She also provides convincing evidence that from the early years of the automobile many women, from various classes, enjoyed the opportunities for independence and speed provided by the new technology.

2010 – Winner

  • Élise Detellier

    Élise Detellier,“Bonifier le capital humain” : le genre dans le discours médical et religieux sur les sports au Québec, 1920-1950. Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française, vol. 62, nos 3-4, 2009, p. 473-499.

    In the best traditions of gender history, Elise Detellier’s article draws together a range of themes including gender, language, sexuality and ideas of nation. Her article explains how the connection between moral and physical health for men and women were constructed in relation to each other and yet produced different opportunities for their participation in sport. One of the critical insights this piece offers is an explanation for why women’s sports remained underdeveloped by the post-war period in Quebec. The author is to be commended for drawing on an expansive historiographical tradition, including the international literature on sports as well as French and English scholarship in Canada.

2009 – Winner

  • Yolande Cohen

    Yolande Cohen, “‘De la nutrition des pauvres malades’ “L’histoire du Montréal Diet Dispensary de 1910 à 1940,” Histoire sociale/Social History 41:81 (Mai-May 2008).

    Yolande Cohen’s article on the Montreal Diet Dispensary is a valuable contribution to the Canadian and international scholarship on twentieth-century maternalist politics and welfare state formation. She presents a sophisticated study of the Dispensary and provides a probing examination of the diversity of women – philanthropists, volunteers, professionals (including social workers and nutritionists), activists, and recipients – involved. This theoretically informed and empirically grounded case study of an institution that preceded the “modern welfare state” sheds light on front-line work and policy making; integrates English-Canadian as well as Quebec feminist scholarship on professionalization and gendered welfare states; and recasts the conventional Canadian national narrative of “colony-to-nation” within a feminist and public health framework. Cohen has also made an important contribution to the study of social policy and social movements and to the history of women and class in early twentieth-century Montreal and Canada.

2008 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2007 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2006 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2005 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2004 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2003 – Winner

  • Laurence Monnais-Rousselot

    Laurence Monnais-Rousselot, "La médicalisation de la mère et de son enfant : l'exemple du Vietnam sous domination française, 1860-1939", Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 19(1)(2002): 47-94.

    In this article, Laurence Monnais-Rousselot retraces the process of maternal and childhood medicalization by the colonial French authorities in Indochina during the period 1860 to 1939. The study is based on a wide variety of French and Vietnamese sources, and shows how the colonial authorities very early on used the health of the mother and child as the principal means of managing local human resources. Her analysis is careful to put this medicalization of childbirth movement in perspective, situating it with regard to work already done in the West on this issue, but without ever losing sight of the distinctive elements linked to the colonial context. She also draws particular attention to the role played by indigenous midwives and emphasizes the manner in which the urban health authorities had to take into account the pathological context, but also the economic and cultural contexts, as well as the region's medical traditions and its inhabitants. Qualified as the "spearhead" of French health policy, the medicalization of childbirth is treated in a nuanced manner that highlights the complexity of a process having both imperialist and humanitarian goals and in which women played an active role.

2002 – Winner

  • Micheline Dumont

    Micheline Dumont, "Un champ bien clos: l'histoire des femmes au Québec", Atlantis (Fall 2000): 102-18.

    To analyse and think of the world in terms of gender is a difficult, even perilous, exercise. However, women historians working on the history of women and gender have given themselves this task. Micheline Dumont's article shows that, after decades of effort in this regard, very few male or female historians have been up to the challenge. By revealing the gaps in what she calls the female historian corporation in regard to this subject, Dumont's article highlights important methodological and historiographic issues. How to judge the contribution of a new field of research? How to evaluate the penetration of this field in historical production? Since the emergence of this dimension of the research, do feminist women historians talk amongst themselves in a vacuum or have they succeeded in turning all their colleagues to a new approach? Dumont suggests that we read the historical production using a rather fine evaluation grid with four levels: the overshadowing of the reality of gender and women, compensatory presence, partial integration, conceptual integration. A reading of the publications selected by Dumont using this grid shows that new acquisitions in the history of women barely find an echo in Quebec historical production; the integration of methodological and theoretical innovations is still thinner especially in francophone historical production, anglophone historical production demonstrating a greater openness in this regard. The challenge is therefore considerable, as much for us women researchers in the history of women as for the others. To award a prize to an article which highlights the low resonance of the research into womens history in the general historical production might seem strange, if not masochistic. But we should thank Micheline Dumont for showing us that we still have a way to go before our ways of thinking are significantly changed.

2001 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

2000 – Winner

  • Diane Gervais & Serge Lusignan

    Diane Gervais & Serge Lusignan. De Jeanne d'Arc à Madeleine de Verchères : la femme guerrèire dans la société d'Ancien Régime, dans Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française, no 53-2 (automne 1999), p. 171-205.

    Gervais and Lusignan compare the stories of three women warriors, all of them situated in the political culture of medieval and ancien rgime France. The authors analyse these narratives as accounts of rituals of inversion. They explain how, for each woman warrior, a symbolic separation from the world of women was achieved, such that her military behaviour was legitimated. But by the logic of such ritual, the inversion was temporary, and the return to feminity confirmed the boundaries that had been briefly, and dramatically, transgressed. Only Joan of Arc was unable to remake herself as feminine, and paid with her life to affirm the norms she had violated. The interpretive framework of the essay provides a fresh and compelling way of understanding the behaviour of these women warriors (and perhaps military women in general. In particular ritualized circumstances, it was acceptable, in spite of its being both remarkable and disturbing within a tradition of western values which has made war by definition men's business.

1999 – Winner

  • Béatrice Craig

    Béatrice Craig. Salaires, niveaux de vie et travail féminin, dans l'arrondissement de Lille au XIXe siècle, Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire.

    In this contribution to economic history, to women's history and particularly to the history of women's work, Béatrice Craig demonstrates how deep immersion in the history of a particular site, in this instance Lille in France, permits her to develop a remarkably precise casual account of women's position in the labour market. This finely argued article moves forward the debate on the evolution of women's participation in the labour force.

1998 – Winner

  • Denyse Baillargeon

    Denyse Baillargeon, "Fréquenter les gouttes de lait. L'expérience des mères montréalaises, 1910-1965", Revue d'histoire de l'Amérique française.

1997 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

1996 – Winner

  • France Parent & Geneviève Postolec

    France Parent & Geneviève Postolec, "Quand Thémis rencontre Clio : Les femmes et le droit en Nouvelle-France".

1995 – Winner

  • Annmarie Adams

    Annmarie Adams, « Les représentations des Femmes dans la Revue de l'Institut Royal d'Architecture du Canada, de 1924 à 1973 ».

1994 – Winner

  • Martine Tremblay

    Martine Tremblay, « La division sexuelle du travail et la modernisation de l'agriculture à travers la presse agricole, 1840-1900 ».

1993 – Winner

  • Sylvie Murray

    Sylvie Murray, « Quand les Ménagères se font militantes: la Ligue auxiliaire de l'Association internationale des machinistes, 1905-1980 ».

1992 – Winner

  • Nadia Fahmy-Eid

    Nadia Fahmy-Eid, « Histoire, objectivité et scientificité. Jalons pour une reprise du débat épistémologique », Histoire sociale/Social History, 24, No. 47 (Mai 1991).

1991 – Winner

  • Marie-Aimée Cliche

    Marie-Aimée Cliche, « L'infanticide dans la région de Québec (1660-1969) ».

1990 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.


1989 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

1988 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

1987 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

1986 – Winner

  • n/a

    The prize was not awarded.

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