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Marie-Aimée Cliche, Tamara Myers

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Prize for Best article on the history of Sexuality

2008

Marie-Aimée Cliche (UQAM). “Du péché au tramatisme: l’inceste, vu de la Cour des jeunes délinquants et de la Cour du bien-être social de Montréal, 1912-1965,” The Canadian Historical Review, 87 (June 2006).
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Tamara Myers (UBC). “Embodying Delinquency: Boys’ Bodies, Sexuality, and Juvenile Justice History in Early-Twentieth-Century Quebec,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 14 (October 2005).

Cliche and Myers make particularly fitting co-winners, for they both focus on the same place and time, employing some of the same sources–early- to mid-twentieth-century Montreal court records–to give us two distinctive takes on the history of sexuality. Drawing on feminism and the work of Ian Hacking, Cliche provides a sensitively negotiated overview of the changing understandings of incestuous relations, underscoring how sexual meanings are subject to historical pressures and can shift dramatically over an even relatively short period of time. Myers deploys sexuality to complicate in useful ways much current thinking on the history of gender and ‘juvenile delinquency,’ demonstrating that for some boys, like for many girls, the definition of delinquency could be sexual, even if that sexualization played out in highly gendered ways. Cliche and Myers both have made original and substantial contributions to the history of sexuality in Canada, furnishing studies at once empirically rich and historiographically engaged.