2016 Ernest Redekop Essay Prize Winner & Honourable Mentions

On behalf of the Awards Committee of the Canadian Association for American Studies, I am pleased to announce the winner of this year’s Ernest J. Redekop Prize, Dr. David Drysdale, for his essay, “Ridge’s Joaquin Murieta: Banditry, Counterinsurgency, and Colonial Power after Guadalupe-Hidalgo”. The committee members admired his well-written, meticulous examination of the cultural implications of the bandit in Joaquín Murieta, a figure that the US government employed to justify extralegal violence, assert its control over California, and racialize American identity as white. They also appreciated his complex positioning of Ridge as a Cherokee writer making his own claim to Americanness through his portrayal of Murieta. It is a nuanced and original contribution to American Studies.

The Redekop prize is awarded annually to the best essay published in the previous year’s volumes of the Canadian Review of American Studies. This year, the committee also chose two honourable mentions from a strong field. They are Justin Rogers-Cooper (CUNY) for “Downfall of the Republic! The 1877 General Strike and the Fictions of Red Scare”; and Jenny Heijun Wills (University of Winnipeg) for “Paradoxical Essentialism: Reading Race and Origins in Jane Jeong Trenka’s Asian Adoption Memoirs”.

This year’s Awards Committee is chaired by Professor Alyssa MacLean (Western University). I am grateful to Professor MacLean and the Committee for their work.

— Bryce Traister, CAAS President (UBC Okanagan)

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