Seven York graduate students celebrated the receipt of their Thesis & Dissertation Prizes with faculty colleagues and program directors at a recent luncheon honouring their research contributions, with two coming from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS).
“This is one of those great opportunities where we get to celebrate the excellent work of our students,” said Fahim Quadir, interim dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, who noted there were close to 500 completed graduate degrees last year.
The Thesis & Dissertation Prizes are distributed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) to celebrate exceptional master's and PhD theses from the previous calendar year.
Melissa Dalgleish, English, Her Constellated Mind: Jay Macpherson's Modernism and the Canadian Mythopoeic Turn
Dalgleish’s thesis looks at the first 20 years of Canadian poet Jay Machperson’s career and examines her mythopoeic modernism and its influence in post-war Canadian poetry.
Noted was her exemplary archival work in regards to fonds used for critical insight. The examining committee stated: “The diplomatic, investigative and archival work required to compile the primary materials for the study were, in a word, monumental, and have results in a an archive that will be foundational for future scholarship in the field.”
The Essential Jay Macpherson, with selections by Melissa Dalgleish, was published by The Porcupine’s Quill earlier this year.
Supervisor Lily Cho said one of the amazing things about the amount of research Dalgleish did, was that she published a book before defending.
"What's not in the dissertation is almost as riveting as what's in the dissertation," said Cho. "There are another two or three books there."
Dalgleish is currently a professional and career development specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Prior to this, she served as the research officer in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and coordinated the launch of the Graduate & Postdoctoral Professional Skills program (gradstudies.yorku.ca/gpps).
Paul Christopher Gray, political science, The Tragedy of Marx and Justice: A Critique of Marx's Failed Attempt to Dispense with Principles of Justice
Gray’s research examines Karl Marx’s theory of justice and its deployment, and contributes to broader debates in contemporary political philosophy. Citing its foundation in philosophy, expert use of detail and its originality, the examining committee noted an outstanding contribution to the scholarship of Marx.
Supervisor David McNally said the supervisor's job, as he sees it, "is to get out of the way when you know your are dealing with a candidate who is on fire."
Gray was one of those candidates, he noted, and periodically, his job was to just throw a log onto the fire. His dissertation "not only said something new, he simply said, 'Here's an entirely different way of looking at it.' "
Gray commented that McNally "fed more logs for that fire than he knows." Gray also added that most Marxist scholars have just accepted that Marx is incredibly ambiguous and vague about justice. "None of them thought to critique Marx according to a Marxist approach."
Quadir said to the recipients, "You were chosen from a large number of students who are already doing wonderful work. All of you have shown excellence in research and writing."