Dr. Bryan Palmer to Receive Trent University’s Distinguished Research Award


Top research award to be presented to Canadian studies and history professor at June Convocation ceremony

Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Peterborough

Dr. Bryan Palmer, Trent University Canadian studies and history professor, Tier I Canada Research Chair and former chair of Trent’s Canadian Studies Department, will be presented with the Distinguished Research Award, one of the University’s top honours, during the Convocation ceremony to be held on the morning of June 3, 2011.

When informed that he was receiving the Distinguished Research Award, Professor Palmer expressed gratitude to his colleagues in Canadian studies who nominated him, and to the committee of distinguished researchers that acknowledged his scholarship as deserving of recognition.

“Trent is a university that values research and that has nurtured and sustained an impressive contingent of first-class publishing scholars,” said Prof. Palmer. “It is an honour to be among those who have received the University’s Distinguished Research Award.”  Prof. Palmer also paid tribute to both the Canada Research Chairs program, which has supported his research, and to Trent’s fusion of teaching and research. His most recent book, Canada’s 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era, grew out of a second-year interdisciplinary lecture course in Canadian Studies that addressed the history, politics, and culture of the tumultuous ‘Sixties’.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Prof. Palmer is an internationally-recognized and highly productive scholar. He has published extensively in his fields of Canadian history, labour studies, radical movements, and social theory. In a career spanning 35 years, Prof. Palmer has published twelve books, edited or co-edited five books, and written dozens of peer-reviewed articles in major national and international scholarly journals, a score of original chapters in edited collections, and hundreds of review essays, book reviews, and other commentaries, including political journalism. He has edited the influential scholarly journal, Labour/Le Travail, since 1997, and his studies of Canadian labour history have been cited in Supreme Court of Canada decisions. His writing has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, and he has lectured in Brazil, China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and a number of European countries.

The consistently outstanding quality of Prof. Palmer’s research is exemplified in awards and prizes bestowed on his major publications. Since coming to Trent in 2001, Prof. Palmer has received a Choice Magazine Gold Seal Award for Outstanding Academic Title for Cultures of Darkness: Night Travels in the Histories of Transgression and the Canadian Historical Association’s Wallace K. Ferguson Prize for his study, James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 in 2008, an annual award granted to the best book published in any field of history other than Canadian. Canada’s 1960s received an honourable mention in the 2010 Canadian Historical Association’s John A. Macdonald Prize competition, and was one of five books short-listed for the Social Science and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Canada Prize in 2011.

Prof. Palmer is actively involved in Trent’s Frost Centre for Canadian and Indigenous Studies and in the History Department’s M.A. program, contributing to the teaching and supervision of graduate students. One of his Ph.D. students, the first to graduate from the Frost Centre, won Trent’s prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal in 2007; another Ph.D. student will be honoured in 2011 with a President’s Medal. As one of the academic letters supporting Dr. Palmer’s Distinguished Research Award nomination noted, “Dr. Palmer is just the kind of original and productive scholar who forces his colleagues and the generations of students with whom he has contact to attend seriously to the business of careful research, thoughtful reflection, and sustained debate that characterizes universities at their best.”

In awarding Prof. Palmer the Distinguished Research Award, a committee of past research award winners was impressed with the consistently laudatory appraisals of his academic supporters, many of whom wrote from outside Canada and attested to his stature as a world-class historian.  One such letter concluded, “Bryan Palmer is a formidable intellectual-authority for whom the highest academic honours are due, even as we happily anticipate further displays of creative, critical scholarship from an extraordinarily productive talent.”  Speaking to the world-class nature of his research, another nomination letter stated, “Dr. Palmer’s prodigious published work is of the highest quality, and has clearly established him as a social historian of international stature.”

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

For more information, please contact: Bryan Palmer, 705-748-1011 x 6061,