Announcing the 2021 Humanities award winners

Our Faculty’s mission is to enrich human dignity, provoke critical inquiry, engage myriad voices and inspire innovative expression — objectives that have been achieved at the university and abroad by each of this year’s award recipients, each in their own way.

It is with great pleasure that we honour and celebrate waaseyaa'sin Christine Sy (Gender Studies), Charlotte Schallié (Germanic and Slavic Studies), Ruth Parrish (Indigenous Studies), Sikata Banerjee (Gender Studies), Janelle Jenstad (English), Dailyn Ramirez (English) and Michael Reed (Medieval Studies) for their outstanding contributions to the Faculty of the Humanities’ mission and community.


Early Career Excellence in Research Award: waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy (Gender Studies) *inaugural recipient*

New this year, the Early Career Excellence in Research Award recognizes and encourages research excellence among early career scholars in the Faculty of Humanities.

waasayaasin Christine Sy

A scholar of Anishinaabeg womxn’s history and material and economic social security, of Indigenous cultural production, and of Indigenous feminist theories and practices, waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy is currently engaged in a number of SSHRC projects as co-applicant and collaborator—a strong indicator of the esteem in which she is held by her peers and colleagues. Her rich, interdisciplinary work, mobilized through a range of platforms from articles to creative writing, covers Indigenous Law and Indigenous Governance, Sociology, Political Science and History, and deals with subject areas spanning Anishinaabe land and water-based practices, community-based Indigenous law practices, and decolonial, Indigenous gendered interpretations of historical settler education texts. Just at the outset of her career, Sy’s strong record of research excellence has earned her the 2021 Early Career Excellence in Research Award.


Engaged Scholar Award: Charlotte Schallié (Germanic and Slavic Studies)

The Engaged Scholar award honours scholars who have best exemplified the Faculty of Humanities’ commitment to social engagement by using their knowledge, research and teaching to effect social change over the last three years.

charlotte schallieCharlotte Schallié’s research exemplifies our Faculty’s aspiration to use humanistic knowledge to effect social change. Her Narrative Art and Visual Storytelling in Holocaust and Human Rights Education initiative, for example, facilitates international collaboration among researchers, visual artists, Holocaust survivors, librarians, students and community members on three continents in order to confront the fallibility and changeability of memory and testimony, and to illuminate the unknown and unknowable in histories of violence. Schallié’s passion, creativity and strong commitment to community engagement have earned her the 2021 Engaged Scholar Award.


Həuistəŋ Award: Ruth Parrish (Indigenous Studies)

Pronounced “who-ee-stun,” Həuistəŋ is a lək̓ʷəŋən word meaning “to honour or bring forward.” The Həuistəŋ Award honours members of the Faculty of Humanities who have made the most significant contribution to further the UVic Indigenous Plan by increasing educational opportunities and success for Indigenous students or advancing education, research, outreach or engagement initiatives with an Indigenous focus.

Ruth Parrish

As Administrative Assistant in the Indigenous Studies program, Ruth Parrish provides pivotal support for Indigenous students and IS faculty members through her warmth, hospitality and amiability. The Indigenous Studies program could not have succeeded without her dedication, enthusiasm and community-building abilities. Ruth has also built important bridges with and support for other staff members across the University, including staff and Elders at the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE). Outside the University, Ruth has raised Indigenous educators and filmmakers and helped reclaim creative cultural practices of her Haida Gwaii ancestors. “The song she sang with her daughter and granddaughter at the Royal BC Museum to honour the children whose graves were rediscovered was a stunning reflection of her commitment to cultural resurgence and revitalization in the face of horrific events,” wrote her nominator. Parrish’s commitment to Indigenous education, community and cultural resurgence have earned her the 2021 Həuistəŋ Award.


Internationalization Award: Sikata Banerjee (Gender Studies)

The Internationalization Award is given to a member of the Humanities community who has most tangibly contributed to the advancement of the UVic International Plan by increasing student global mobility, enhancing international student experience, advancing international and intercultural curricula, or making a vital impact through the internationalization of their research.

Sikata Banerjee

Sikata Banerjee is a prolific and world-renowned transnational scholar whose work focuses on the critical and timely themes of Indian politics, nationalism, masculinities, and making connections between gendered nationalisms in a transnational context. She is currently completing a co-edited special issue of the Global Media Journal entitled “Bollywood, Power, and Politics” and has a sixth monograph forthcoming. Always in high demand as a graduate and postdoctoral supervisor, she enriches her department’s courses with her transnational scholarly expertise, having developed such highly successful courses as Women, Race, and Empire; Gender, Nation, and War; and Gendering India: From Empire to Bollywood. For her critical engagement with concepts of national and nationalism and their intersections with gender, race, class, caste and religion; and for her contributions to international research at UVic’s Centre for Global Studies, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives and Global South Asia Forum, Banerjee has earned the 2021 Internationalization Award.


Research Excellence Award: Janelle Jenstad (English)

The Research Excellence Award acknowledges those who have made a substantial contribution to their field(s) of expertise over the last five years, making a profound and unmistakable impact through their research.

Janelle JenstadA leader in the fields of early modern literary studies, digital humanities, textual criticism and book history, Janelle Jenstad is a powerhouse of research. She has shaped the emerging field of geo-humanities as creator and director of the Map of Early Modern London (which consists of seven inter-operable digital projects that map the spatial imaginary of Shakespeare’s city) and as director of Linked Early Modern Drama Online (a cutting-edge encoding, editing and anthology-building platform for Early Modern Drama). Jenstad’s enduring impact on an incredibly diverse range of fields of scholarship — literary studies, digital humanities, library and information science, history, human geography, new media studies, critical pedagogy/curriculum studies, literary biography, theatre history and musicology, for example — has earned her the 2021 Research Excellence Award.


Staff Excellence Award: Dailyn Ramirez (English)

The Staff Excellence Award recognizes those who have demonstrated excellence in the performance of their administrative, support or service duties, displaying a commitment above and beyond the requirements of their position.

Dailyn RamirezAs Assistant to the Chair of the Department of English, Dailyn Ramirez has been described by her colleagues as an exceptional staff member and a vital resource on departmental and University policies and processes. Since joining the Department in 2016, she has held three positions within that office, showing a high degree of competence in each and proving herself a reliable mentor to new staff, students and faculty members. Particularly noteworthy over the last year was her display of calm, patience and versatility during the COVID-19 pandemic. These outstanding strengths and qualities —along with her wry sense of humour— have earned her the 2021 Staff Excellence Award.


Teaching Excellence Award: Michael Reed (Medieval Studies)

The Teaching Excellence Award recognizes faculty members who have gone over and above their required duties to motivate and support students on their quest for knowledge and growth.

Michael ReedRecognized for the quality and consistency of his teaching over many years, Reed brings a passion for pedagogy and mastery of his subject matter to his courses. He also excels in fostering engagement and promoting inclusivity and diversity in the classroom. One of his former students notes that “Dr Reed’s lectures are the highlight of my university experience. Not only were his lectures informative and illuminating, they were also designed to cultivate critical thought and welcome student input. Even the most timid of students were often inspired to take part in these student-centred learning activities.” It is these qualities and more that have earned him the 2021 Humanities Teaching Excellence Award.


For more information about the Humanities Staff and Faculty awards, please visit