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Canadian Studies Professor to Receive 2008 Distinguished Research Award


Trent University’s Top Research Award to be Presented to Dr. James Struthers at June 4 Convocation Ceremony

Monday, April 21, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that Dr. James Struthers, a Canadian Studies professor and director of the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies at Trent, will be presented with the Distinguished Research Award, one of the University’s top honours, during the morning Convocation ceremony on Wednesday, June 4.

"I am greatly honoured by this recognition of my research, over the past thirty years, on the history of Canadian social policy,” Prof. Struthers said. “This certainly marks the highlight of my career in Canadian Studies at Trent University."

Prof. Struthers started teaching at Trent as a lecturer in 1977 and joined the Canadian Studies Department as a professor in 1978 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. Since coming to Trent, Prof. Struthers has had a significant impact on building the national and international reputation of Trent’s Canadian Studies programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

“To summarize Prof. Struthers’ output, accomplishment, and peer respect through a listing of his publications, papers, and grants is one thing…But it is in coming to grips with how he has commanded and charted an important area of Canadian scholarship over the last three decades that the true measure of this Trent faculty member’s research can be grasped,” said one of Prof. Struthers’ colleagues in a letter of nomination.

Prof. Struthers is the author of two books, No Fault of Their Own: Unemployment and the Canadian Welfare State, 1914-1941, which has been described as “the most important scholarly work published in the last half century on the history of the Great Depression in the 1930s”, and The Limits of Affluence: Welfare in Ontario, 1920-1970. In recent years his research has focused on the history of policy responses to aging and long term care in Canada from the 1940s to the present. He has published articles on the growth and regulation of private nursing homes and public homes for the aged in Ontario, and on the history of home care in Ontario as well as on the development of public pensions in Canada in the post 1945 era. In 2004 he completed a policy history of the Veterans Independence Program (VIP), a national homecare program for aging veterans. Since 2003, Prof. Struthers has been a co-investigator and co-theme leader in the SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative, “Hidden Costs/Invisible Contributions: Marginalization of ‘Dependent’ Adults”. Research on this project, centred at the University of Alberta, is examining the contributions that ‘dependent’ adults make to our economy and society and challenges traditional ideas about who should be considered ‘dependent’ and how community services can help them to contribute in creative ways.

In addition to his research work, Prof. Struthers has held a number of key administrative roles at Trent, including chair of the Canadian Studies Department and president of the Trent University Faculty Association. In 2006, Prof. Struthers was appointed director of the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies. In this position he oversees both the Master’s program in Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies and the Ph.D. program in Canadian Studies, which is offered jointly by Trent and Carleton University. Outside of the University, Prof. Struthers serves as a member of the New Veterans Charter Advisory Group for Veterans Affairs Canada. He has also been a co-editor of The Canadian Historical Review and an associate editor of the Journal of Canadian Studies.

In the words of another nominator and colleague, “many scholars at Trent have produced work that merits acknowledgement and applause, but none is more deserving than Professor Struthers.”

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


For more information, please contact:
Dr. James Struthers, Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6049