Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Child care research earns StFX professor three national awards at Canadian Historical Association Annual Meeting

June 14th, 2016
Dr. Lisa Pasolli

StFX professor Dr. Lisa Pasolli has earned three national awards for her research examining the child care movement nationally, and regionally in British Columbia.

Dr. Pasolli, who teaches in the Department of History/Women’s and Gender Studies, was honoured three times during the Canadian Historical Association (CHA) Annual Meeting, held in Calgary, AB from May 29-June 1 as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
She won the Political History Group Best Article in English Prize for “‘I ask you, Mr. Mitchell, is the emergency over?’ Debating Day Nurseries in the Second World War” Canadian Historical Review 96, 1 (March 2015): 1-31. 
The article was also the recipient of the Canadian Historical Review Prize.
Dr. Pasolli was singled out for the third time when she won a Clio prize—annual awards given for meritorious publications or for exceptional contributions by individuals or organizations to regional history—when she was named the British Columbia winner, for Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma: A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015).
Her book was also short-listed for the 2016 Basil-Stuart Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia. 
“I was just pleased, especially that different pieces were recognized,” Dr. Pasolli says when asked her reaction. “The book resulted from my dissertation, and the article was my first piece of post-doctoral research. It was nice to have both of these projects recognized.”
In the article, Dr. Pasolli looks at the history of child care policy and politics in 20th century Canada, in particular the Dominion-Provincial Wartime Day Nurseries Agreement where the federal government proposed shared federal-provincial funding of child care services during the Second World War.
“There was a great debate in all the provinces as to whether they would implement it,” she says. In the end, only Ontario and Quebec did.
In her research, Dr. Pasolli looks at all the actors in that debate, key historical moments, and the long term implications. 
Similarly, her book looks at debates about child care policy and charts the growth of the child care movement in British Columbia. 
Dr. Pasolli says receiving these awards recognizes the significance of studying women’s issues and social policy issues, and recognizes that these things are important.
“It also shows that historical research really can inform our understanding of contemporary issues and help make our contemporary debates more meaningful.”

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