Avie Bennett Prize in Canadian Literature

Every year instructors of Canadian literature courses from the Department of English & Writing Studies are invited to recommend the best essay submitted for credit within the current academic year. 

A prize of $650 (plus 17 titles from The New Canadian Library) is awarded annually for the best essay written by an undergraduate student registered in a Canadian Literature course within the Department of English & Writing Studies.

About Avie Bennett >>


Meher Hakim

The 2019 Avie Bennett Prize in Canadian Literature has been awarded to Meher Hakim for her paper “The Japanese-Canadian Experience: Dehumanization, Rape, and Blame in Joy Kowaga’s Obasan.” The paper offers an insightful analysis of the ways that Kogawa's novel deploys metaphors and imagery of animality to depict the dehumanization of Japanese Canadians during the period of internment in the WWII era. Through a combination of thoughtful close readings and the deft incorporation of secondary scholarship, the essay offers a compelling analysis of the text. The adjudication committee would like to congratulate Meher, and to thank all the students who submitted their excellent and provocative work.

Contest Rules

  1. Entries must be submitted by Friday, April 12, 2019.
  2. Students must be registered on main campus.
  3. You should submit work that has not hitherto been published or won an award in any other competition. 
  4. Eligible essays should receive a mark of at least 85%.
  5. Entries must be submitted in hard copy only to the Department of English and Writing Studies, University College, Room 2401B, Western University with the mark and instructor’s comments included.
  6. The winning entry will be named by April 30, 2019.
  7. The winner will be notified by email.
  8. The results will be posted on the Department of English website and social media channels.

Inquiries to: Shelli Hunter | uenglish@uwo.ca


Year Recipient Title Course Adjudicators
2018 Roshana Ghaedi "Trauma, Photography, and Fragmentation in Timothy Findley’s The Wars” English 2501E Professors Manina Jones and David Bentley
2017 Jennifer Tombs "How the Symbol of the B'gwus Functions as a Way of Speaking Back to Colonial Narratives in Monkey Beach" English 3880G Professors Manina Jones and Donna Pennee
2016 Mitchell Horkoff "The Static City and the City in Flux": Navigating Cultural Identity Through Urbanity in Barometer English 2309E Professor Richard Moll
2015 Emma Lammers "A Marriage of Documentary and Myth: Regionality in James Reaney's Sticks and Stones" English 3776G Professors Donna Pennee and Pauline Wakeham
2014 Elizabeth DiEmanuele "The Repugnant Subject: Contradiction in the Indian Act of 1876" English 3880G
2013 Erin Lamotte "Ambivalence Towards Postmodernism in the Employment of Historiographic Metafiction in Alice Munro's "Menesteung" and Timothy Findley's The Wars" English 2309E
2012 Nicole Askin "Multifaceted Millions: National Identity in Shane Koyczan's 'We Are More'" English 3774E
2011 Emily Kring "Deconstructing Two-Spiritedness: Kent Monkham, Miss Chief, and Binary Blending" English  4720G
2010 Paige-Tiffany Beck "Somewhere Between Blue-Face and Banditos: The Theatrical 'Borderlands' in The Adventures of Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil and Fronteras Americanas" English 2470G
2009 Matthew Waddell "Me, Myself, and I: Questioning Empathy" English 2470G
2008 Lisa Madokoro "Mapping Home: Questioning Space and Place in Princess Pocahontas and The Unnatural And Accidental Women" English 474F
2007 Tara McDonald "Wacousta's Winsome Women: The Portrayal of European and Native Femininity in the Canadian Council Project" English 274E
2006 David Barrick "thingness with capitalism (post theoretical politics as decribed in by Nichol" English 160E
2005 Colleen Daniher "The Canadian Musical: Producing a Soundscape of Identity" English 287G
2004 Jordan Berard "Finding the 'Voice to Utter Such Catastrophe': Revolution in Canadian Holocaust Poetry" English 274E
2003 Elizabeth Bohnert "Coyote in Drag: Gender Difference and Appropriation of Native Mythology" English 274E
2002 Danielle Picard "'A Double Wound': Social Injustice and Bodily Harm in Joy Kogawa's Obasan" English 160E