2017 Michael Baptista Essay Prizes Awarded

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

At the undergraduate level, the prize was awarded to: Carlo Handy Charles for the paper Transnational Social Field: A framework to Analyze National Identity and the Haitian State’s Cultural Politics of Belonging in the Haitian Diaspora. 

At the graduate level, the prize was awarded to Hannah Rackow for the paper Clothing as Remains: Performance After Atrocity.  At this level we also had an honorable mention, Carmen Umana-Kinitzki, for the paper Water is Life”: Embodied Encounters and Local Values of the Río Peñas Blancas in Response to Potential Hydroelectric Dam Development in South-Pacific Costa Rica.

The essays were nominated by York faculty members and evaluated by CERLAC’s Awards Committee.  All two of these prize-winning papers are available online as part of CERLAC's Baptista Prize-Winning Essays Series.  All of the nominated papers represent high-calibre scholarly work at their authors' respective levels of study and merit recognition as worthy of candidacy for this prize.

The Michael Baptista Essay Prize was established by the friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank of Canada. This $500 Prize is awarded annually to both a graduate and an undergraduate student at York University in recognition of an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the humanities, social science, business or legal perspective. The Michael Baptista Essay Prize and Lecture are named in honour of Michael Baptista in recognition of the areas central to his spirit and success: the importance of his Guyanese / Caribbean roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievement at the Royal Bank of Canada, and his continued and unqualified drive and love of learning.

If you are a York faculty member and wish to nominate a student's essay for this prize, please contact CERLAC: cerlac@yorku.ca or CERLAC’s Coordinator Camila Bonifaz at cbonifaz@yorku.ca

Congratulations to all of this year's nominees and to the two 2017 Baptista Prize winners!