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Engaging with Diversity

Multidisciplinary Reflections on Plurality from Quebec


Edited By Stéphan Gervais, Raffaele Iacovino and Mary-Anne Poutanen

Contributed by leading scholars of Quebec Studies, both emerging and established, the 30 essays of this comprehensive collection offer a multidisciplinary survey of the study of diversity in Quebec over space and time. The volume is organized around a variety of themes through which Quebec’s plural reality is expressed, including conceptual, historical and contemporary approaches, covering a wide range of social and economic cleavages, identity markers, political contestation and, broadly, the lived experiences of Quebecers negotiating difference over time. In an environment increasingly demarcated by conflicts around values and cultural and social practices, this collection hopes to contribute to broadening the spectrum of voices to the current debate, adding an inclusive reflection to a conversation that has only intensified over the last decade. Quebec as a pluri-national and multi-ethnic society has been and remains a great laboratory to study and to test public policies on ethnic diversity. It allows us to identify the tensions and to evaluate the balance between the majority and the minority; and between settler society and indigenous nations, in conceptualizing and finding a normative consensus around the configuration of collective rights. In short, the contributions in this volume seek to illustrate how pluralism has and continues to constitute the lifeblood of belonging in Quebec.

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From English into French. Literary Translation as a Measure of the (Inter)Cultural Vitality of Quebec’s Anglophone Communities (Gillian Lane-Mercier)


← 456 | 457 →

From English into French

Literary Translation as a Measure of the (Inter)Cultural Vitality of Quebec’s Anglophone Communities1


Shared cultural perceptions can be particularly tenacious, despite the fact they often run counter to actual trends which have gradually developed for years without, it would appear, anyone noticing. Several perceptions of Quebec’s English-language writing communities are a case in point. While it is widely recognized that, prior to the 1976 victory of the Parti Québécois, many of Canada’s most renowned literary figures were English Quebecers,2 as Linda Leith (2010) has demonstrated, this victory accelerated the shift from Montreal to Toronto as the centre of the Canadian publishing industry, causing a sharp decline in institutional support for English-language writers in Quebec. It also fostered a dual sense of alienation due to the latter’s new-found minority status with respect to both the Canadian and Québécois literary establishments. Little attention has been given, however, to various institutional indicators that allow for a quite different account, including what Leith and others have correctly called a revival of Quebec’s Anglophone literary communities over the past two decades. At best, the more salient signs of cultural revitalization have been invoked, such as the founding of the Quebec Writers’ Federation (1998), the creation of the international literary festival Blue Metropolis (1999), the publication—in French and in English—of conference proceedings and special journal issues on ← 457 | 458 → Anglo-Quebec literature,3...

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