Michael Poplyansky's picture
Call for Papers
January 8, 2018
Saskatchewan, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Canadian History / Studies, Nationalism History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Intellectual History, American History / Studies

From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, the Western world was marked by intense activism and rapid cultural change. Whether due to the student “New Left” or second wave feminism, old certainties came under attack. Yet, there remains an aspect of this general atmosphere that is still poorly understood: the collective demands of national minorities.

As Will Kymlicka (1995) explains, a national minority is a collectivity whose existence predates that of the state. For many national minorities, “the long Sixties” gave rise to new political movements that struggled for various causes, whether it be more political autonomy (without necessarily advocating full independence), greater economic integration, or an end to discriminatory policies.

In the world of academe, a new group of scholars emerged, who devoted themselves to the study of these national minorities. In Canada, for instance, Acadian, Franco-Ontarian, and Native (Indigenous) studies all developed in parallel. In the United States, African American and Chicano activism contributed to the rise of ethnic studies, and research on other national minorities, such as the Cajuns and Creoles, flourished as well.

The artistic scene also renewed itself. All of the above-mentioned collectivities witnessed the transformation of their literature, music and cinema, which became key elements of their collective revival.

Whether we consider, therefore, contemporary public policies, institutions of higher learning or the cultural milieu, the rich heritage of the “long Sixties” is felt to this day. By examining the period’s legacy for North America’s national minorities, we will seek to identify those elements that stood the test of time, as well as those that had to be abandoned.

Yet, in North America, the long Sixties’ “national(ist) wave” has not been not studied in depth. We do not sufficiently appreciate the impact of the social, economic, political and cultural trends that swept across the West in the 1970s on North America’s national minorities. How did minorities harness these trends, so that they would be correspond to these communities’ particular situations? Moreover, the experiences of various national minorities have rarely been compared, so as to identity the commonalities as well as the differences. The relationships that these minority groups may have forged among themselves also need to be better understood.

We posit that North America’s national minorities lived different realities, all the while having, at certain moments, common experiences. This conference seeks precisely to “departicularise” French-speaking Canadians’ experience (whether Acadians, Québécois, or French Canadians from other provinces), so as to incorporate their development into the broader history of the contemporary West. To that end, we welcome proposals dealing with any national minority in Canada or the United States, as well as comparative studies.

Among the themes that can be developed:

  • Political parties and movements
  • Struggles for autonomy or independence
  • Development of governance structures
  • Access to education, language of instruction and school governance
  • Language policies
  • Identity formation
  • Links between national(ist) movements and other social causes (feminism, Marxism-Leninism, environmentalism, counterculture, etc.)
  • Artistic trends (literature, music, cinema)
  • Linguistic (re)appropriation
  • Race relations and cultural hybridity
  • Intellectual history
  • Legacy of the “long Sixties” and North American national minorities’ future development
  • Journalistic and artistic representations of the “long Sixties”

We hope to achieve broad participation, including academics who study “the long Sixties” or their legacy, former sixties activists, as well as community and state actors whose work relates to the struggles of the time.

English-French simultaneous translation will be provided.

Proposals should be sent to no later than January 8, 2018. Proposals must include the following:

  • The type of proposal: a presentation, a workshop or a roundtable. The presentations will last 15 minutes;
  • The author's contact details: surname, first name, function, institution or organization and e-mail address;
  • A short biography of the author;
  • A proposal summary - maximum 1500 characters (including spaces).

The Planning Committee could obtain one or more grants and thus be able to reimburse the travel expenses for students and community representatives. It is also possible that we will reimburse part of the travel expenses for academic researchers. Finally, we plan to publish a book or a thematic issue in a journal on the theme of the symposium.

Planning Committee

Scientific Committee


Michael PoplyanskyLa Cité universitaire francophone (University of  Regina)


Joel Belliveau – Laurentian University

Pierre Bherer – Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada

Clint BruceUniversité Sainte-Anne

Éric Chevaucherie – Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne

Anne-Andrée Denault - CÉGEP de Trois-Rivières

Martin Durand – Canadian Heritage

Dominique Sarny – Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise

Stéphanie St-Pierre – Université Sainte-Anne


Jérôme Melançon - La Cité universitaire francophone (University of  Regina)


Joel Belliveau Laurentian University

Janique Dubois  – University of Ottawa

Marie-France Kenny – Coopérative des Publications fransaskoises

Tudi Kernalegenn – Université catholique de Louvain

Serge Miville – Laurentian University

Martin Normand – University of Ottawa

Jimmy Thibeault – Université Sainte-Anne

denise Truax - Éditions Prise de parole


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