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Kristin Semmens, Elise Chenier


The CHA Teaching Prize


Early or Alternative Career Award

SemmensKristin Semmens

Prof. Semmens is an assistant teaching professor in the departments of history and Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria. Her nomination package impressed with the wide range of different types of primary sources she routinely uses in her teaching, from graffiti to musicals, 1930s travel brochures to rocket parts, oral testimonies to government documents, whether in large survey courses or smaller upper-level seminars. Interested in the area of Holocaust education, Prof. Semmens integrates concerns about public history into her courses by both leading excursions through Victoria or the Royal BC Museum and guiding her students to create their own exhibits, documentaries, walking tours and such based upon students’ own engagement with primary sources.  Her upper-level seminars on the history of the Holocaust showcase intense debate about the archive and the use of primary sources in creating historical argument.

Honourable Mention

ChaktarisMary Chaktsiri

Prof. Chaktsiris is an assistant professor and fellow at the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University. She teaches courses on Canada and the world, Canadian history, World War One, military history, and digital humanities. She e-publishes frequently on digital resources and digital humanities in the history classroom.

Open Career State Awards

Elise ChenierElise Chenier

Prof. Chenier is a full professor in the department of history at Simon Fraser University, Director of the Archive of Lesbian Oral Testimony, and Associate member of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies department. Her nomination package highlighted her commitment to not only fostering critical engagement with different types of primary sources but empowering students to add to the archive themselves and grapple with their own relationships to knowledge production and the community at large. Students in Prof. Chenier’s Hist 451 course (Fall 2019) collected oral testimonies and exhibited what they learned of the lived experiences of lesbians in Vancouver active in the women’s movement in the 1970s and 80s in “pop-up museum” projects, for example. Likewise, in her first-year introductory course on the history of sexuality, she uses her website “How to Think Like a Historian” to model reflective, feminist historical methodology that students then apply to their own engagements with primary sources.

Honourable Mention

Mairi CowanMairi Cowan

Prof. Cowan is an associate professor (teaching stream) in the department of historical studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.  A medievalist by training, she teaches a truly staggering array of courses that include topics on world history, early Canada, medieval and early modern European history, women’s history, religion, food, ecology, and music. She has developed resources for mentoring TAs and is the co-author of Writing History: A Guide for Canadian Students, 5th Edition, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).