Archives mensuelles : juillet 2014

Recension par Laurence De Cock du livre « Je me souviens? »

Pour une révolution de la mémoire collective. Histoire et conscience historique chez les Québécois francophones

Pour une révolution de la mémoire collective. Histoire et conscience historique chez les Québécois francophones

Texte paru dans la première mouture de la revue Argument, à l’automne 1998.

Amener les Franco-Québécois à se souvenir d’où ils s’en vont est peut-être, pour l’intellectuel d’ici, la seule possibilité de penser les figures de l’impensable condition québécoise en sortant d’une épistémologie de la misère et de la mélancolie, sans pour autant cesser d’aimer le pays et les siens, mais en articulant décisivement leur devenir, c’est-à-dire leur conscience historique et leur recherche d’avancement, dans une idée autrement pensée et énoncée de la culture et du lieu, c’est-à-dire de la nation. Car ne nous y trompons pas : c’est dans l’invention d’un nouveau rapport à la culture, comme mémoire et comme horizon, que sera éventuellement redéfinie l’identité québécoise.

Le texte.

Table ronde / La commémoration: outil de mémoire ou instrument politique?»

Table ronde «La commémoration: outil de mémoire ou instrument politique?» from Association Artefact on Vimeo.

“What is to be done with 1759 ?” & “Remembering (from) Where you are Going » are now available

Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory

“What is to be done with 1759 ?”, In Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, Philip Buckner & John Reid (Eds.), Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2012, p. 279-302.

The title of this chapter is not meant sarcastically. It implies that the difficulty with 1759 is not historical in nature, haying to do with the event in and of itself, but ideological. What matters is the use people might make – or try to make -of the event in political terms, along with the consequences flowing from their efforts to do so. Put another way, 1759 is not a problem when considered as an event embedded in time or from the point of view of determining what happened in the past, but it becomes so when these past realities are used to create a collective identity and a common cause in the present. Accordingly, one can argue that 1759 does not belong primarily to a past that we might wish to study and understand, but, rather, to a present and a future that we might wish to shape and control. This distinction allows us a clearer perspective on the virulent debates that broke out in Quebec in the spring of 2006 and the winter of 2009. The first centred around the significance attached to the Conquest in a new history curriculum, while the second focused on how to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Each controversy in its own way highlighted how 1759 remains, despite the lapse of time, an event enshrined in the collective imagination of Quebec. Although it is possible to reinterpret the Conquest in a way that departs from the accepted canon, revisionism inevitably runs afoul of the fear of endangering a sense of identity to which the Conquest is foundational.

On 1759 and the future of memory in Québec, see also :

Contemporary Quebec

“Remembering (from) Where you are Going: Memory as Legacy and Inheritance”, In Contemporary Quebec: Selected Readings and Commentaries, Michael Behiels & Matthew Hayday (Eds.), Montréal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011, p. 730-754. 

The problem that concerns me, and for my examination of which the Report of the Task Force on the Teaching of History provides an ideal pretext, is the relationship of Quebecers of French-Canadian heritage to their past, a past seen as one of ordeals and sacrifices requiring an undying memory and necessitating reparation or redemption. It is through the memory of a difficult, sometimes tragic past that the relationship of these Quebecers to the world, to « others, » and to themselves is generally mediated. 

School vs. Memory?

School vs. Memory?
Conflict, Identity, Coexistence (Central Europe)
International interdisciplinary conference | Prague, 10–11 October 2014

PANEL 2 – SCHOOL – Theory and research

Chair : Patrick Hutton

Keynote Speaker: Felicitas Macgilchrist


  • Raffaele Mantegazza (Università Milano-Bicocca)
  • Gitanjali Pyndiah (Goldsmiths University of London)
  • Maria Georgiou (Institute of Education, University of London)
  • Jocelyn Létourneau (Université Laval)
  • Marcel Tomasek (Historical Sociology, Faculty of  Humanities, Charles University)


Complete program.

Létourneau’s talk : Start from memory to get over it. A pragmatic approach to teaching history to kids.

See also :

Inaugural Issue of Historical Encounters: A Journal of Historical Consciousness, Historical Cultures, and History Education

Penney Clark, THEN/HiER Director, and Jocelyn Létourneau, Stéphane Lévesque, Ruth Sandwell, and Peter Seixas, THEN/HiER Executive Board members, are Editorial Board members for Historical Encounters: A Journal of Historical Consciousness, Historical Cultures, and History Education. The inaugural issue of this peer-reviewed open access journal based at the University of Newcastle, Australia, is available online.