Every two years the History of Children and Youth Group (HCYG) of the Canadian Historical Association awards the Neil Sutherland Prize for outstanding scholarship in the history of young people. Neil is a Professor Emeritus in EDST and a pioneer scholar in the history of children and childhood in Canada. The winner for 2012 is Rachel Cleves, in the Department of History at the University of Victoria—Congratulations to Rachel!
Rachel Hope Cleves, “ ‘Heedless Youth’: The Revolutionary War Poetry of Ruth Bryant (1760-83),” William and Mary Quarterly 67, no. 3 (July 2010):519–548.
Cleves’s article, which explores the experience of girls and war is meticulously researched, insightful, and skillfully contextualized. As Cleaves herself notes, “Largely excluded by their gender and youth from political assemblies, academies, and the army, girls left few textual clues about their beliefs.” Cleves weaves together the various threads of Ruth Bryant’s poetry and its themes of domesticity, gender, family and patriotism, finding a young girl’s voice in the historical record. The committee agreed that Cleves’s work is an original and exciting contribution to an understanding of the experiences of children and youth and war, and to the field of the history of childhood.