Alison MacAulay wins the CHA's John Bullen Prize for 2023!

June 7, 2023 by Our Department News

Please join the Grad Office in congratulating Dr. Alison MacAulay, whose dissertation, “Filming History: Visual Representations of Rwanda, 1916-2014” has won the Canadian Historical Association’s John Bullen Prize for the best dissertation defended between October 2021 and September 2022! 

Dr. MacAulay’s dissertation is a strikingly original exploration of the representation of Rwanda on film over the past century from the colonial to post-genocide periods (1916-2014). Through the lens of film and the film-making industry, MacAulay provides a fascinating window into a complicated history, attentive to the multiplicity of perspectives embedded in the creation of these films from both inside and outside of Rwanda. At the same time, MacAulay looks at the reception of such films within Rwanda and considers the screening spaces and spectators who viewed them and the messages they conveyed. 

This dissertation combines History, Film Studies, and Genocide Studies, using theoretical and methodological frameworks from all three to place images of the Rwandan genocide in the context of film and moving pictures in the history of Rwanda more broadly. It draws on textual archival sources, films produced both within and outside of Rwanda, and oral histories with those connected to the Rwandan film industry to provide a richly textured and deep exploration of how film can produce historical knowledge in complex and meaningful ways.  

Congratulations to Dr. MacAulay and her supervisor, Prof. Julie MacArthur!