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Home » Odessa Prize for the Study of Canada ($1000 Undergraduate Essay Prize)

Odessa Prize for the Study of Canada ($1000 Undergraduate Essay Prize)

The $1000.00 Odessa Prize is awarded for the best essay written in English or French in an undergraduate fourth-year course on a topic relevant to the study of Canada (for instance, Canadian History, Politics, Public Policy, Environment, Society, Culture, Literature, or Fine Arts)

Submission details for the 2022-23 academic year will be posted shortly.

Submissions will be adjudicated by a committee formed by the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, and the prize winner will be announced in June 2022. The winner of the Odessa Prize will also be nominated for the Best Canadian Studies Undergraduate Essay/Thesis prize of the Canadian Studies Network – Réseau d’études canadiennes (

Faculty members please submit electronically to

*a short covering letter explaining the context in which the work was written
*a copy of the essay
*the nominee’s York Student number, email and mailing address

For further information, please contact: Laura Taman (

The Odessa Prize is made possible by the generous donation of York alumnus Irvin Studin (BBA Schulich, PhD Osgoode Hall Law School), past Rhodes Scholar and Governor General’s Gold Medal winner, captain and two-time soccer All-Canadian with the York University men’s varsity soccer team. The Odessa Prize is dedicated to Studin’s parents, Yuri and Sima, both of whom hail from the famous port city of Odessa. The award was originally founded through the combined contributions of the many writers in Studin’s 2006 book, What is a Canadian? (McClelland & Stewart).

Odessa Prize Winners

2021-22: Brenda Martinez Castro (English, Glendon), “And food was the dead giveaway”: The Metaphor of Food in What We All Long For

2020-21: Emily Belmonte (History), "Understanding Treaty One: Subsistence and Survival 1871 - 1888"

2019-20: Natalia Santilli (English, Glendon), "The Abject Horror of the Spanish Influenza in Canadian Theatre"

2018-19: Evania Pietrangelo-Porco (History), "Sex and the City Streets: Intersections of Politics, Morality, Race and Community in Vancouver, 1983-1989"

2014-15: Jesse Thistle (History), "We are children of the river’: Toronto’s Lost Métis History."

2013-14: Catherine Timms (History), "Frederick G. Gardiner: An Exploration of High Modernism and the Metropolitan Toronto Council, 1953-1961

2012-13: Lindsay Moore (Anthropology and Communication and Culture), "Touring Toronto: Experiential Narratives of History, Culture and Identity"

2010-11: Lotoya Jackson (English), "Compromises of Success: Politics of Representation and Paratext in Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes