The Hilda Neatby Prize French Article
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.