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We’re proud of our committed faculty members who are proven leaders at York University and within the community. Engaged in vital, ground-breaking work, they’re earning honours for their scholastic achievements and research beyond the classroom, including internal and external awards, and research chair appointments. These dynamic individuals are significantly enhancing the quality of learning for York students and making positive change on a local and global scale.

Canada Research Chair

Humanities professor Christina Sharpe profile photo

Christina Sharpe

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities

As Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities, Christina Sharpe will create a fulsome and vibrant research hub, rich with innovative research creation practices and projects. The program will convene the Black Still Life Research Group as a new model of study bringing together established and emerging Black Studies scholars, graduate students, and visual and performing artists whose work investigates the myriad ways Black life is made and lived. Through collaborative, theoretical and community-based research methods, the program will explore interdisciplinary ways of knowing and acting to generate scholarly and creative outcomes in Black Studies knowledges.

Read more in yFile.

Excellence in Teaching

The Department of Humanities Awards for Excellence in Teaching recognize and celebrate excellence in teaching practices that promote deep student engagement through innovative delivery of the department's program learning outcomes.

Nomination Process

They fall within three categories:

  • Teaching assistants (CUPE Unit 1) who have completed teaching in at least one 6-credit course in the Department of Humanities
  • Contract faculty (CUPE Unit 2) course directors or tutorial instructors who have completed teaching in at least 6 credits in the Department of Humanities
  • Full-time tenure-stream, tenured, or contractually limited appointments (CLAs) who have taught at least 30 credits but who have completed fewer than six years of teaching in the Department of Humanities

Nominations for these awards consist of:

  • Nomination letter (by any student or faculty member; maximum 750 words)
  • Summary of recent teaching evaluations (provided, with permission of the nominee by the Department of Humanities)
  • Teaching dossier (provided by the nominee; maximum 10 pages)
  • Supporting letters from 2 students (maximum 500 words each)
  • Supporting letter from 1 faculty member (maximum 500 words)

Any student or faculty member familiar with someone’s teaching may make nominations. Award winners are chosen based on nomination materials received by the department’s Teaching and Learning Committee. More than one award may be presented in a single category, but in some years (depending on nominations) awards may not be presented in all three categories.

Past Winners

Karen Ruddy (Full-Time Faculty)

Gordon Anderson & Colin Campbell (Contract Faculty)

Jellisa Ricketts (Teaching Assistant)

Phil Harland (Full-Time Faculty)

Andrea Medovarski (Full-Time Faculty)

Kael Reid (Contract Faculty)

Shama Rangwala & Jesse Thistle (Full-Time Faculty)

Lee Danes & Mohamed Khimji (Contract Faculty)

Simran Kaur (Teaching Assistant)

Carolyn Steele (President's University-Wide Teaching Award: Contract Faculty)

Janice Anderson (President's University-Wide Teaching Award: Teaching Assistant)

Abigail Shabtay (Full-Time Faculty)
Steve Gennaro (Contract Faculty)
Jordan Nusbaum & Tina Benigno (Teaching Assistant)

Kym Bird (Full Time Faculty)

Tita Kyrtsakas & Sean Steele (Teaching Assistant)

Carolyn Steele has won two teaching awards:

The Humanities Award for Teaching Excellence (Contract Faculty)
The Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence (2019-2020)

Alison Halsall (Full Time Faculty)

Mohamed Khimji (Contract Faculty) and Mark Terry (Teaching Assistant) & Roland Shainidze (Teaching Assistant)

Kabita Chakraborty (Full Time Faculty)

Gurbir Jolly (Contract Faculty) and Jason Hoult (Teaching Assistant)

Janet Milo-Thaiss and Maxine Wood (Contract Faculty)

Jacqueline Petropoulos (Contract Faculty); Tanhum Yoreh (Teaching Assistant)

Ryan Wei (Contract Faculty);  Lee Danes (Teaching Assistant)

Roger Fisher and Danny O'Rourke-DiCarlo (Contract Faculty); Inga Untiks (Teaching Assistant)

Deborah Clipperton (Contract Faculty); Jason Michelakos (Teaching Assistant)

Jennifer Duncan (Contract Faculty); Candace Iron (Teaching Assistant)

Awards & Academic Honours

President’s University-Wide Teaching Awards

We are proud that several winners of the President’s University-Wide Teaching Awards come from the Department of Humanities :

  • Steve Gennaro, President’s University-Wide Teaching Award: Contract Faculty Category, 2023
  • Carolyn Steele, President’s University-Wide: Contract Faculty Category, 2022
  • Jan Anderson, President’s University-Wide: Teaching Assistant Category, 2022
  • Andrea Davis, President’s University-Wide: Fulltime Category, 2017
  • Kabita Chakraborty, President’s University-Wide: Fulltime Category, 2016

Book Awards & Academic Honours

  • Andrea Davis is one of 10 recipients of the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship, 2021. Read full story in yFile.
  • Ted Goossen has published three volumes: including a translation of People from My Neighbourhood, by Hiromi Kawakami (Granta, UK), which has been submitted for the International Booker Prize.
  • Sylwia Chrostowska's book The Eyelid (2020) was named one of four best new books in science fiction; her Matches (2015) was translated into French in 2018.
  • Andrea Medovarski: Finalist for 2020 Canada Prizes in the Humanities and Social Sciences for her new book, Settling Down and Settling Up: The Second Generation in Black Canadian and Black British Women’s Writing (University of Toronto Press, 2019)
  • Jesse Thistle’s From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way is:
    • Winner of the 2020 Indigenous Voices Award in Canada for prose in English.
    • Winner of the 2020 High Plains Book Award, Indigenous category.
    • Winner of Kobo's 2020 Canadian Non-Fiction Emerging Writer Prize.   
    • Finalist, CBC Canada Reads
    • A Globe and Mail Book of the Year
    • An Indigo Book of the Year
    • A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of the Year
    • Also the #1 bestselling book in Canada in both the overall and nonfiction categories
  • Tony Burke’s book, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas in the Syriac Tradition: A Critical Edition and English Translation (2017) won the 2018 Frank W. Beare Award, which recognizes an outstanding book in Christian origins, Post-Biblical Judaism and/or Graeco-Roman Religions by a member of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies.
  • Andrea Davis: 2018 Honoree, 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women.
  • Ted Goossen received the Order of the Rising Sun in 2018, the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese government. Prof. Goossen was recognized for his contributions to developing Japanese studies and promoting Japanese culture in Canada. He specializes in modern and contemporary Japanese literature and has translated a number of Japanese writers, including Shiga Naoya, Ibuse Masuji, and Murakami Haruki.
  • Christina Sharpe: New York Times book critic, Parul Sehgal, named Christina Sharpe’s book In the Wake (Duke UP 2016) one of the most important books they had read in 2018; In the Wake was also voted one of the best books of the decade by Duke University Press editors, and was featured in a series of essays in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism in November 2018.
  • Andrea Davis: Renaissance Award, Afro-Global Television Excellence Awards Program, 2017
  • Kabita Chakraborty was recognized for her ability to bring the lived experiences of children in slum communities in India and plantation communities in Malaysia into the classroom in 2016. Her teaching helps students make real-world connections with respect to theory and research. Chakraborty was lauded for her passionate and innovate teaching practice, as well as fostering the development of critical thinking and incorporating her global experiences into her teaching structure. Read full article in yFile.
  • Sylwia Chrostowska's debut novel Permission was chosen as one of five books of the year (2013) by Quill and Quire review editor Steven W. Beattie.
  • Stanley Tweyman has been appointed as a member of the SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships selection committee for a three-year term.
  • Michael Herren received a SSHRC Insight Grant for his project, “Critical edition of the Épinal-Erfurt Glossary,” the oldest Latin to Old English dictionary.
  • Theresa Hyun’s Korean/English collection of poetry Riding the Peace Express was translated into Chinese by Jilin National University Press.
  • Markus Reisenleitner: Editor-in-Chief Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies