Vanier Scholars

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipients are selected based on leadership skills and high standard of scholarly achievement in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering and/or health sciences. Each scholar reiceives $50,000 annually for up to three years. 


Melanie Stone
Women's Studies and Feminist Research
Making Her Life Work: Re-presenting Motherhood, Disability and Work Engagement Using Photovoice

Melanie Stone, a PhD candidate in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, is among 166 recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Read Western News article


Mayme Lefurgey
Women’s Studies & Feminist Research
Transitional Justice & Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Reimagining Transnational Women’s Advocacy on Issues of Violence Against Women

MaymeMayme Lefurgey explores the intersecting complexities of transnational advocacy and problematizes ‘solidarity across borders’ through a discussion of tensions observed within global advocacy projects to end violence against women. Despite best efforts, many initiatives have come under scrutiny by scholars and women’s rights organizers for failing to foster solidarity, relying on means of representation rather than generating space for more genuine collaboration. In speaking to the burgeoning concerns of transnational organizing and ideals of a global sisterhood among women’s rights organizers, Lefurgey’s research explores key themes such as Global North and South divides, as well as neo-colonial and neo-imperial continuities. In order to explore the contentions of good intentions, she draws from decolonizing peace theory and post-colonial feminism as tools for reorientation in probing the broader implications of the theoretical discourses surrounding the various projects and campaigns she discusses.


Alexandre Sannen
Literature, French

AlexUnderstanding love in literature: Studying the history of hedonism, the origins and how it is represented in post-modern Romanticism Further to the rise of consumerism and the sexual revolution during the 1970s, hedonism has taken an important place in all discussions about pleasure. Its resurgence is correlated with the development of the postmodern condition which can be characterized by the transition from a ‘production society’ to a ‘consumption society,’ by the emergence of the late capitalism, and by suspicion about metanarrative stories which make space for nihilist hedonism. These changes have affected artistic expressions. As much in form as in content, French postmodern novels reveal these new societal paradigms where individuals are under the obligation to increasingly experience and accumulate pleasures. In this context, hedonism appears as an engine of contemporary literary practices which has consequences for the act of reading and artistic creation as expressions. Sannen analyzes postmodern French novels as a space of social practices aroused by hedonism to further understand our relationship to pleasure and how this relationship has changed during the 20th century.


Andrew Peterson
Philosophy, Rotman Institute of Philosophy

AndrewBy building bridges between the humanities and sciences, Andrew Peterson hopes to address pressing conceptual problems head on. A member of both the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Brain and Mind Institute, Peterson analyzes the ethical and epistemological problems related to the use of brain-computer interfaces in patients with acquired brain injuries. “Questions regarding the verification of decision-making capacity in this patient group, assessment of a patient’s ability to experience pain and the disclosure of diagnostic information to patients’ families have presented difficult conceptual challenges for scientists working in this field,” he said. The belief is solutions to these issues not only require the historical strengths of philosophy in identifying and clarifying important questions, but also an understanding how the problems arise in the course of scientific practice. The goal is that novel solutions will be produced that have a direct and measurable impact on the lives of brain injured patients and their families.

Moustapha Diop
French Studies

MoustaphaShuffling through the gamut of literary, film and adaption theory, Moustapha Diop aims to revive the work of late Senegalese filmmaker and writer Sembène Ousmane from a- 3 - theoretical standpoint. “Much has been written about him, but it is his militant ethics, not his film and literary aesthetics, that has so far elicited much interest from critics.” There are several implications to this revival, but the most significant is debunking myths associated with artistic practice in Africa. “(Notably) the African artist is either an epigone standing under the influence of a Western father figure, or is drawing inspiration from his or her traditional culture to castigate contemporary mores,” he said. Diop believes both premises are misguided, and, through his writing, aims to withdraw these notions from circulation in academia.