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Sutherland Article Prize

The Sutherland Article Prize honours the pioneering work of Canadian historian Neil Sutherland in the history of children and youth by recognizing outstanding contributions to the field. The prize is given out on a biennial basis under the auspices of the History of Children and Youth Group of the Canadian Historical Association.

2014 Winner

Jennifer Robin Terry,  “‘They ‘Used to Tear Around the Campus Like Savages’:  Children’s and Youth’s Activities in the San Tomas Internment Camp, 1942-1945” The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 5, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 87-117.

The actions and reactions of young people under strenuous conditions are the central pillars of Jennifer Robin Terry’s article “‘They ‘Used to Tear Around the Campus Like Savages’: Children’s and Youth’s Activities in the San Tomas Internment Camp, 1942-1945,” a methodologically innovative and important contribution to the history of childhood and youth.Terry makes creative and insightful use of a wide range of evidence – from rules and structures to children’s games and food allotment, to shed light upon a neglected area of study: the place of children and youth in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. Drawing upon both official documents and memoirs, Terry clearly demonstrates young people’s agency in this challenging context, showing that they both influenced and resisted the norms of camp life, even as they were themselves being shaped and governed by the restraints imposed by interned adults and their Japanese captors.  The result is an engagingly written article which keeps children’s lived experiences at the forefront, while shedding important light on the wider intergenerational experience of internment.

Le comportement de jeunes maintenus dans des conditions difficiles est le thème central de l’article de Jennifer Robin Terry' intitulé "'They 'Used to Tear Around the Campus Like Savages':  Children's and Youth's Activities in the San Tomas Internment Camp, 1942-1945,"; article qui, grâce à une étude méthodologique innovatrice, contribue de façon significative au domaine de l’histoire de l’enfance et des jeunes. Terry utilise avec créativité et perspicacité une vaste gamme de données-depuis les règles et les structures des jeux des enfants jusqu’à leurs rations alimentaires- pour éclairer une partie de l’histoire jusqu’alors négligée: le sort des jeunes et des enfants dans un camp d’internement japonais pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. S’appuyant sur des documents officiels et des témoignages écrits, Terry met en évidence le pouvoir d’action que les enfants et adolescents ont pu développer dans ce contexte délicat, en révélant  qu’ils ont à la fois influencé et aussi résisté aux exigences de la vie carcérale, tout en étant façonnés et asujettis aux contraintes imposées d’une part par les prisonniers adultes et d’autre part par les geoliers japonais. Il en résulte un article captivant qui met au premier plan les expériences vécues par les jeunes, tout en mettant la lumière sur l’expérience intergénérationnelle dans un contexte d’internement. 

2012 Winner

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.

Cleaves’ 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 Cleaves’ 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.

L’article de Cleave, qui décrit l’expérience des filles en temps de guerre, est méticuleusement documenté, pertinent et contextualisé avec talent. Comme Cleaves l’indique elle-même, “ Fortement exclues des assemblées politiques, des institutions scolaires et de l’armée à cause de leur sexe et de leur jeune âge, les filles de cette période ont laissé très peu d’indices textuels relatifs à leurs façons de penser”. Cleaves relie à merveille les nombreux fils de la poésie de Ruth Bryant à travers ses thèmes domestiques, familiaux, patriotiques et de la condition féminine, grâce aux écrits d’une jeune fille trouvés dans les dossiers historiques.

2012 Honourable Mention

Rebecca Onion, “Picturing Nature and Childhood at the American Museum of Natural History and the Brooklyn Children's Museum, 1899-1930," The Journal of Childhood and Youth 4, no. 3 (2011): 434-469.

"Through her interrogation of the use of photographs of children to reflect and create ideas about childhood and the natural, Onion makes a significant contribution to the understanding of childhood as a social and political construct, and to the use of photographs as a useful original source for historians of childhood."

2010 Winner

Ellen Boucher, “The Limits of Potential: Race, Welfare, and the Interwar Extension of Child Emigration to Southern Rhodesia,” Journal of British Studies 48 (October 2009): 914-934.

Boucher skillfully mixes narrative with interpretation, developing a well-crafted, engaging, accessible piece of scholarship.  The committee was particularly impressed with the subtlety and range of Boucher's use of evidence.  She deftly worked back-and-forth between her case study of the Rhodesia Fairbridge Memorial Association and larger developments in child welfare, child psychology, empire building, and other global processes of modernity.  She accomplished this impressive feat without losing the thread or persuasiveness of the argument.  Her discussion of how race and class hierarchies in Empire limit the "potential" of children has widespread implications in her particular study of British colonialism in Africa and in other historical contexts.

 2008 Winner

Rhonda L. Hinther, “ Raised in the Spirit of Class Struggle: Children, Youth, and the Interwar Ukrainian Left in Canada,” Labour/Le Travail 60 (Fall 2007), 43-76.


We found it very solidly researched, well-grounded in, and balancing of, diverse literatures, and useful in addressing the experience and decision-making of the young people themselves.

2008 Honorable Mention

Stephen Robertson, "'Boys, of Course, Cannot be Raped': Age, Homosexuality and the Redefinition of Sexual Violence in New York City, 1880-1955," Gender & History, 18, 2 (August 2006), 357-79.

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