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Call for proposals - From Memory to History: The Quiet Revolutions in Quebec, Canada and Elsewhere

Published on 22 Sep 2020

From Memory to History: The Quiet Revolutions in Québec, Canada and Elsewhere

Université du Québec à Montréal, November 11th – 12th, 2021

The Quiet Revolution is a transformative period in Québec’s most recent history that continues to nourish the reflections of researchers and specialists in the social sciences. Often associated with the major reforms put forth by the liberal government of Jean Lesage, 1960 to 1966, and the socioeconomic and cultural impacts felt in Québec, the Quiet Revolution is increasingly perceived as a matrix reconfiguring the parameters revolving around how the Québécois society attempted to live together, since the end of the 1950s to the beginning of the 1980s. As an object of memory, the Quiet Revolution has progressively become an object of history, especially given the historic distance that separates us from it, which also allows us to provide further clarity on its ins and outs.

Although it is often associated with Québec, the concept of the "Quiet Revolution" can also be associated with the socio-economic, political, and cultural changes that transformed many Western societies during the second half of the 20th century. The Acadian communities, the minority francophone communities of Canada, the English Canadian society, but also, just as much as the North American nations, many Western nations in Europe experienced profound transformations that greatly restructured the foundations of their collective lives, even if they do not relate to the nationalist aspect experienced in Québec. As such, the absence of a comparative perspective deprives us of the pluralist interpretations associated with the idea of the Quiet Revolution, whose geographic and cultural influence exceeded far beyond the confines of Québec’s borders.

The emerging historiography speaks to the new interpretative and methodological approaches made by both francophone and anglophone historians, particularly in the fields of new political history, inspired by epistemological methodologies and reflections of cultural history, political science, sociology, and anthropology. The recent research on the sixties has notably integrated the knowledge that political culture, the voices of engaged citizens, and science became important vehicles of socio- economic developments, among many others. However, despite these advances, certain phenomena and processes associated with the Quiet Revolutions require further exploration and concretization, particularly the actors pushed to the margins, absent from banquets and national assemblies, and the new social regulations put in place during the post-war emergence of the welfare state, especially during the 1960s and 1970s. It is equally the case for “gendered” political history and the conception of politics among women that proves that the current dominant narrative on the Quiet Revolution in Québec requires revision.

Taking on a pluri-disciplinary perspective, the conference, From Memory to History: The Quiet Revolutions in Québec, Canada and Elsewhere, intends to give the opportunity to value the research of the social science experts on the period associated with the “long” Quiet Revolution in Québec and the multiple other Quiet Revolutions in Canada and around the world. More precisely, the conference organizers wish to put forth three axes of research to enlarge the heuristic value of the Quiet Revolutions: 1) the Quiet Revolution in Québec; 2) the Quiet Revolutions elsewhere in the world, including English Canada; and 3) the upheavals experienced in the francophone communities of Canada and their relations with Québec during the 1960s and 1970s. The three axes can be communicated in five different ways, all of which will divulge the current state of our scientific knowledge: 1) interpretative and comparative analyses; 2) new objects of study; 3) historiographic debates; 4)  issues with memory; and 5) issues with methodologies. The proposals can also relate to the following themes (non-exclusive):

•    Issues with periodization

•    Historiographic debates

•    The uses of the past and public memory

•    The sixties and its international influence

•    Québec in the world

•    The political activism of artists

•    Feminist movements

•    The impact of the Quiet Revolutions on women

•    Youth movements

•    Civil rights movements

•    Issues with language and immigration

•    Cultural and ethnic diversity and integration issues

•    The process of secularization

•    Indigenous voices and activism

•    The emergence of Québec Inc.

•    Economic thought

•    The world of education

•    The influence of the media

•    Counterculture

•    Environmental questions

•    Technocracy and scientific expertise

•    Changes in political culture

•    Food practices and identities

•    Regional experiences

•    Tourism and touristic identity

•    The occupation of land

•    Traditional French-Canadian culture

•    Cinemograph culture

•    Culture and value shock

•    Intellectual networks

Co-chaired by Jean-Phillippe Carlos (post-doctoral researcher at York University) and Stéphane Savard, (professor at Université du Québec à Montréal), the conference will take place at the Université du Québec à Montréal on November 11th and 12th, 2021. In case of health restrictions due to COVID- 19, the conference will take on a hybrid format (online and in-person) or it will be entirely online.

Those interested in participating need to provide, before December 1st, 2020, an abstract of approximately 250 words, including a title and the primary sections to be developed during the presentation. A personal biography must also be submitted (7-8 sentences), in addition to contact information, institutional affiliation, specialization and a list of publications. Please send the proposal applications to colloquerevolutiontranquille@gmail.com to be evaluated by the scientific committee. It is also important to note that applications and presentations can be in French or English. 

Following the conference, there will either be a collective book publication or a thematic issue in an academic journal. With that said, participants must submit a final version of their presentation by February 1st, 2022, to allow for a 2022 publication. The text should be between 6 500 and 8 000 words (maximum), footnotes included.

The organizing committee will submit an application for funds to reimburse travel and lodging costs, depending on the situation, of participants who reside outside of Montréal, Québec. Participants will be advised in due time of the protocols for reimbursement.

The members of the conference’s scientific committee: Jean-Philippe Carlos, Université York (co-president) Stéphane Savard, UQAM (co-president)

Magda Fahrni, UQAM

Valérie Lapointe-Gagnon, Faculté Saint-Jean

Andréanne LeBrun, Université de Sherbrooke

Marcel Martel, Université York

Félix Mathieu, Universitat Pompeu Fabra-Barcelona

Martin Pâquet, Université Laval

Jean-Philippe Warren, Université Concordia

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