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Dr. Jacqueline Solway to Receive Trent University's Distinguished Research Award

Top research award to be presented to international development studies and anthropology professor at June convocation ceremony

Dr. Jacqueline Solway to Receive Trent University's Distinguished Research Award
Dr. Jacqueline Solway to Receive Trent University's Distinguished Research Award

Dr. Jacqueline Solway, professor of International Development Studies (IDS), Anthropology and member of the Frost Centre at Trent University, will be presented with the Distinguished Research Award, one of the University’s top honours, during the convocation ceremony to be held on June 7, 2012.

“With over 30 peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in the best journals of socio-cultural anthropology and international development studies, Professor Solway is extremely well-regarded for her research on rural livelihoods and agrarian change; egalitarianism and indigeneity; democracy and multiculturalism; and ethnicity, nationalism and civil society,” said Dr. Haroon Akram-Lodhi, professor and chair of the Department of International Development Studies, in his nomination letter.

“However, Prof. Solway is particularly well known for two long-standing dimensions to her research,” he continued. “First, she is an internationally-respected authority on the San (Bushmen) of the Kalahari. Second, she is also an internationally respected authority on rural livelihoods, socio-economic change, ethnic identity and democracy in Botswana.”

Prof. Solway's international reputation is demonstrated in the fact that she has been affiliated with the London School of Economics, as well as Yale University, where she has presented her work at the Agrarian Studies Symposium, an extremely demanding and internationally-recognized forum of excellence in rural development”

“Jackie has shown the capacity to bridge academia and policy circles by conducting very high-quality, applied research in association with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). She served as co-principal investigator on the Wadi Allaqi research project in Egypt which investigated changing patterns of resource use and cultural practices among rural populations,” said Dr. Paul Shaffer, professor from the Department of International Development Studies.

“I would argue that Jackie is one of Canada's foremost cultural anthropologists. She is internationally recognized as an expert authority on Africa, especially on the Kalahari San (Bushmen) of southern Africa (Botswana). She has also done major anthropological and development research on parts of northern Africa, including Egypt and Ghana,” said Dr. Paul Healy, professor of Anthropology and former recipient of the Trent University Distinguished Research Award (Social Sciences, 1994).

External letters of support note: “Professor Solway has earned an international reputation as a scholar and leading authority in the areas of African social formations, the anthropology of health, and development theory”.

“What is impressive is that her research continues to be creative, reflective and important.” 'I have known her only through her publications.  When I see her name attached to a paper I know that it will be worthwhile reading, that I will learn something new and be forced to reflect.”

Solway writes: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to join the impressive group of scholars whose achievements have been recognized with this award. I am also very grateful to colleagues at Trent and elsewhere who have supported and encouraged me.  The research and teaching environment at Trent have been truly enabling.  I have also been privileged to work, write and publish with a number of outstanding scholars and activists from Canada, Egypt and Botswana as we have endeavoured to chronicle and understand some of the profound transformations occurring in Africa.”

Dr. Jacqueline Solway graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology at Oakland University in Rochester, U.S.A. in 1973. She received her Master’s degree in 1976 at the University of Toronto, where she also completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1987. Her dissertation was entitled “Commercialization and Social Differentiation in a Kalahari Village, Botswana.”

After a year as a research affiliate at Yale University in the department of Anthropology and the Southern African Research Program, Professor Solway was hired as an assistant professor in Comparative Development Studies (CDS) at Trent University in 1991 and became Professor of International Development Studies and Anthropology in 2008, where she remains. From 1993 to 1997, she held the position of adjunct graduate faculty in Sociology at Queen’s University. She has also been a visiting academic at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom in both 1997 and from 2006 to 2008. She is on the editorial boards of the journals Critique of Anthropology, Botswana Notes and Records, New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry, and American Ethnologist. Prof. Solway has twice received the Trent University Merit Award for research in 1998 and 2003.

Prof. Solway’s recent publications include “Culture Fatigue”: The State and Minority Rights in Botswana, in the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies in 2011 Human Rights and NGO ‘Wrongs:’ Conflict Diamonds, Culture Wars and the ‘Bushman Question,’ in Africa  2009 and an edited book with Berghahn Press, The Politics of Egalitarianism, 2006. She is currently engaged in a long-term study of the paradoxes of liberalism in Botswana with a particular emphasis upon processes of citizen inclusion and exclusion and the every day experience of democracy.

Established in 1986, the Trent University Distinguished Research Award is given annually to a member of the Trent University faculty in recognition of outstanding achievement in research and scholarship.

Posted on Friday, May 18, 2012.

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