Congratulations to our Director, Dana Seitler, for winning the Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize!
The Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize is presented to a faculty, staff or student member of the University who has made a positive and lasting contribution to education and action against discrimination. Prize winners have included a wide variety of individuals who have been recognized for their scholarship, personal service to others, or activities in support of the University of Toronto’s commitment to the values of equal opportunity, equity and justice.
“Dana Seitler is Professor of American Literature in the Department of English and the director of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. Over the course of her career, she has built a reputation as a champion of human rights and inclusion. Her research explores 19th- and early 20th-century American literature and culture, queer theory and sexuality studies, feminist theory, cultural studies of science, visual culture, and aesthetics.
Seitler champions marginalized communities and minority experiences. As director of the Bonham Centre, she has made a tangible difference to the lives of many young people who feel misunderstood, excluded and marginalized. Peers praise how she has transformed the Centre into a thriving international hub for academic, artistic, community-based and activist work in trans, sexuality and queer life. For example, she raised funds to create the Martha LA McCain Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canada’s first post-doctoral fellowship in sexuality studies.
Seitler also re-invigorated many initiatives at the Centre, including making the Sexual Representation Archive Collection more accessible to local and international researchers; promoting the Lynch History Grant to support community-based projects that mobilize knowledge about queer history to broad audiences; and championing the Sexual Diversity Studies Fellows program and the Artist-in-Residence program.
She’s a beloved and respected teacher, say students, commenting how she pushes them to engage critically in the work of social justice. Her colleagues praise how she includes and engages both undergraduates and graduate students, faculty and staff in her management. She has also been commended for supporting the work of trans and queer faculty and visiting scholars.
Seitler is the author of two books: Atavistic Tendencies: The Culture of Science in American Modernity and Reading Sideways: The Queer Politics of Art in Modern American Fiction (Forthcoming, Fordham University Press).”