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Source: Brock University

Brock researcher awarded 2006 Polanyi Prize for Literature

October 27, 2006

James Allard, Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University, has been awarded the 2006 John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature.

Allard, who specializes in British Romantic literature and culture, was recognized for his research on "patient narratives." This project examines writings by and about medical patient narratives, and seeks to explore the creation of the idea of the "patient" in the late-18th and early-19th centuries.

"I'm honoured to accept this prize on behalf of the Department of English Language and Literature, the Faculty of Humanities, the Office of Graduate Studies, and the University. Brock is a place where researchers in the early stages of their careers can experience a stimulating, engaging, and welcoming atmosphere to conduct their work," says Allard. "I hope that any recognition that comes with this award signals to the rest of the academic community that Brock is a place where great work is being done by some great scholar-teachers, and that better work and even better scholars are on their way."

Allard's research interests include the history of medicine, body studies and speculative fiction, and he has published in such journals as European Romantic Review, Gothic Studies, Romantic Circles Reviews, The Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, The Canadian Historical Review and Technostyle. He recently had another book-length project accepted for publication - Romanticism, Medicine, and the Poet's Body (forthcoming with Ashgate Publishing, 2007) - which examines representations of the body at the intersection of medicine and literary Romanticism.

"I was delighted to learn of that Dr. Allard had won this impressive award," says Marilyn Rose, Dean of Graduate Studies at Brock. "His work is truly outstanding and I am especially pleased that he is very much a 'teaching scholar' who brings his research into the classroom in lively ways, thereby enriching the experience of so many of our Brock students."

The award presented to Allard last night at Massey College in Toronto, also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Polanyi Awards. The presentation of the 2006 awards was attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden; Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty; and University of Toronto Chancellor David Peterson. The awards were established by Ontario when Peterson was Premier.

In honour of the achievement of Canadian scientist John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Ontario established the fund to provide annually up to five prizes to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing to post-doctoral studies or who are on faculty of an Ontario university.

The Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) oversees the nominations and the competition and deans of Graduate Studies nominate scholars for the award. David Leyton-Brown, Executive Director of OCGS, notes that "the Polanyi Prize is Ontario's most prestigious award for junior researchers."

The prizes have a value of $15,000 each and are available in the areas broadly defined as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Economic Science. The prizes are awarded to assist the recipients in their research and professional development.

For more information, please contact James Allard, Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, at 905-688-5550, ext. 3531; e-mail:



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