Francophone Academics ponder English-speaking Quebec
Theworld’s largest French-language multidisciplinary academic congress will for the second year in a row host a two-day conference on English-speaking Quebec as part of its program. Last year’s event was the first time a French-language event of this scale was held on this topic. Organizers are confident that the 2011 version will continue the previous accomplishments of forging new perspectives and avenues for inquiry as Francophones and Anglophones learn about the common challenges they face as minorities.
The Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) is hosting the con- ference on May 10 and 11 as one component of a larger, multi-conference congress held at Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University. The conference is co-organized by the Quebec English-Speaking Communities Research Network (QUESCREN) and the Eastern Townships Resource Centre. Launched two years ago by Concordia University (Montreal) and the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities (Moncton), and funded in part by Canadian Heritage, QUESCREN is a network of academic researchers, community organizations and government partners engaged in research on English-speaking Quebec. The Eastern Townships Resource Centre (Sherbrooke), for its part, is a resource centre for the study of the Eastern Townships with a special focus on the English-speaking community. Townshippers’ Association and the Équipe de recherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature anglo-québécoise have also collaborated in the organisation of this event.
“ These ETRCQUESCREN conferences provide rare opportunities for researchers to meet their peers in academia and beyond,” says QUESCREN coordinatorresearcher Dr. Lorraine O’Donnell. “There are more Francophones doing research on Englishspeaking Quebec than you’d think, many of them working in isolation from each other and Englishspeaking researchers. We are delighted with the welcome ACFAS has once again extended to us.”
Conference presenters hail from many universities and research institutes from Quebec and Canada, However, the conference goes beyond the academic realm by featuring several presentations from community organizations as well. The conference will focus on different regions and a broad range of themes, including the Eastern Townships, education, health, history, identity, literature, language and socio-economic conditions. Within these themes are individual presentations covering everything from Leonard Cohen to life expectancy.
Those interested in attending may consult a detailed programme under “colloque 641” at www. acfas.ca . It is also possible to register online.