Graduate research connects to past and present

Research award

Graduate research connects to past and present

February 6, 2024


Celia Romulus

Célia Romulus recently received the 2023 CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences category.

The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) has honoured Célia Romulus, a recent PhD recipient from the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, with the 2023 CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences category.

The CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award has been recognizing outstanding Canadian dissertations for 25 years. The award seeks to showcase original and innovative doctoral research that makes significant contributions, both to their respective academic communities and to Canadian society at large.

In her dissertation, Remembering the Duvalierist State – Gender, State Repression, and Migration Patterns between Haiti and Canada, Dr. Romulus, who was supervised by Department of Political Studies professor Margaret Little, closely examines Haitian gendered experiences and Haitian diasporic experiences in Haiti and in Montreal during the brutal dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-1986). The dissertation seeks to understand the impact of, and the ways in which, Duvalierism and its relationship to Canadian and Québecois political culture, are remembered by multiple generations.

“This research has allowed me to connect the past and present, to remember stories I was never told. Because I chose to follow stories that are part of my life and that are similar to mine – stories that took people to various countries I have drawn from various story-making and story-making processes,” Dr. Romulus says. “These life stories illustrate multi-located resistance strategies as deployed by opponents of the Haitian dictatorial regime, but also by Haitian men and women in negotiating their citizenship between two or more countries including Canada.”

Dr. Romulus is currently an assistant professor at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies of the University of Ottawa. The thesis was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Scholarship. Learn more about the award on the CAGS website.

“I am truly honored to receive this award and it is a wonderful recognition of all the support and labour of many notably of Haitian men and women who agreed to share and trust me with their stories, insights, archives and analysis about Duvalierism while caring for me before, during and after the completion of this dissertation,” Dr. Romulus says.

Arts and Humanities
Arts and Science
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Quality Education