2022 Spring DSR Newsletter: Honours & Awards


Faculty, students and staff receive fellowships, grants and awards that recognize their contributions to the academy and the community


SSHRC Connections Grant

Naomi Seidman

Professor Naomi Seidman has received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connections Grant for an upcoming international conference called “Bais Yaakov in Historical and Transnational Reach.” This is the first conference bringing together scholars of the international Orthodox girls' school movement known as Bais Yaakov, which was founded in Krakow in 1917 and flourishes today with over a thousand schools in thirteen countries (including five in Toronto). The academic conference will be supplemented by a public program in the Orthodox neighborhood of Toronto and a concert of music from the interwar system. → Read our Q&A feature with Naomi, "Performing Orthodox Jewish Girlhood: The Bais Yaakov Project"

SSHRC Insight Grant

Nada Moumtaz

Professor Nada Moumtaz has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant for "“Beirut Is Not For Sale”: Urban Regulations and the Fight for the City," working in collaboration with Hiba Bou Akar of Columbia University.The project brings new approaches to a key contemporary societal challenge: ensuring the existence of affordable and just cities in the context of a global wave of gentrification. Based on contemporary and nineteenth-century examples from Beirut, Lebanon, the project assesses the efficacy of three property instruments used today to fight gentrification in Beirut and worldwide: community land trusts, rights of first refusal, and commons. The goal of the project is to provide both an historical and an ethnographic perspective on the ideals driving these struggles over the city and the role of legal instruments in shaping the city, amid a move in city governance from an Islamic legal framework to a modern secular urban planning regime.

Earlier in the spring, Nada received a School of Graduate Studies Early Career Supervision Award in recognition of her outstanding performance in the multiple roles associated with graduate supervision at the University of Toronto. → Read article

Other Tributes, Achievements and Honours

Kyle Byron

PhD candidate Kyle Byron has been awarded a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship, for his project “To Every Creature: Language, Law, and Masculinity in U.S. Street Preaching”.

Simon Coleman

From July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, Professor Simon Coleman will be a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He will be conducting fieldwork at the pilgrimage site of Walsingham, Norfolk, as well as continuing writing projects relating variously to pilgrimage, Pentecostalism, and his joint project on tire-use and sustainability in urban Nigeria.

Edward Escalon

PhD candidate Edward Escalon received the DSR's Helen Mo Memorial Scholarship in support of his dissertation research. Edward’s dissertation, “Burnout: Evangelical Missionaries and the Translocality of Feeling,” is very much in the spirit of Helen Mo’s own transnational and critical approach to the anthropology of Christianity.

Anne-Marie Fowler

PhD candidate Anne-Marie Fowler was awarded a graduate fellowship from U of T's Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. Her work will leverage philosophies of science, time, and infinity in proposing AI ethics as a function of the ongoing learning, anticipation, and construction of knowledge.

Octavio Gonzalez

Congratulations to DSR Financial Officer Octavio Gonzalez, whose work on the new “Slate” system for improving the student admission process has earned him U of T’s Excellence Through Innovation Award. The award acknowledges and celebrates Octavio’s significant contribution to the University of Toronto enrolment system before he joined us here at the DSR. While we are all aware of how much we benefit from Octavio’s work in the DSR, this is further evidence of how lucky we are to have him on the admin team!

Liwen Liu

PhD candidate Liwen Liu's project “Justifying Violence: Ritual and Doctrine of Killing in Medieval Hindu Traditions" has been awarded the Jackman Humanities Institute 2022-23 Amilcare Iannucci Graduate Fellowship.

Christina Pasqua

PhD candidate Christina Pasqua has been awarded a Critical Digital Humanities Initiative Graduate Project Partner Grant. This fellowship will enable Christina to further develop her work on Kiinawin Kawindomowin Story Nations, resulting in a publication.

Mukti Patel

Undergraduate student and Religion Undergraduate Student Association president Mukti Patel received a 2022 U of T Student Leadership Award. These awards are made in recognition of graduating students whose exemplary leadership contributions have significantly impacted U of T and the university experience of their peers. She was also named a University of Toronto Alumni Association Scholar – part of U of T’s Awards of Excellence – in recognition of her academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement. Mukti is a DSR specialist spring 2022 graduate – congratulations, Mukti!

Srilata Raman

Professor Srilata Raman has been awarded a Jackman Humanities Institute Research Fellowship beginning January 1, 2023. Her project, Dalit Vedanta, by examining Tamil texts that shed light on caste mobility and non-elite assertion during and after the colonial period, aims to retrieve a lost canon of Tamil religious literature which radically reshapes understanding of South Indian religion in the 18th-20th centuries.

Ajay Rao

Professor Aja Rao has won support from the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative Emerging Projects Fund for work on generating a database through manuscript digitization of texts, which will greatly expand the range of texts available for the study of Sansrkit intellectual history. 

Kevin White

Professor Kevin White received a Jackman Humanities Institute Scholar-in-Residence award for 2022, for his project “Haudenosaunee Storytelling, Waugh, and Orality.” Students will research, transcribe, index, and work with Haudenosaunee stories gathered from several sources and archives in Canada and the United States.



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