Thursday, September 28, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Sunday, October 1, 2006
The conference was held in the Department of Romance Philology at the University of Graz:
The 15th European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies was hosted at the University of Graz in the Department of Romance Philology from Thursday, September 28th to Sunday, October 1st, 2006. The goal of the conference was to bring together European students working on a Master’s or Ph.D. thesis in Canadian Studies. These students were invited to present their current research topics, and were given the chance to meet and exchange ideas with students from other European countries. The presentation topics came from a variety of different disciplines, ranging from literature and history to political science and cultural studies. With 20 participants and 19 presentations, 13 different countries were represented. Graz aimed its focus on establishing a relationship between Western and Eastern Europe; therefore, many participants came from the East. However, amidst the European group a representative from Mexico was also present.
This conference, so abundant with diversity, opened on the evening of Thursday the 28th with words from, Prof. Klaus-Dieter Ertler, organizer of the conference and Director of the Department of Romance Philology at the University of Graz, and was followed by Prof. Roberta Maierhofer, Vice-Rector of the University, Prof. Serge Jaumain, President of the European Network for Canadian Studies, Prof. Cornelius Remie, President Elect of the International Council for Canadian Studies, and last but certainly not least, a few words from H.E. Marie Gervais-Vidricaire, Ambassador of Canada to Austria. The stage was then set for the keynote address which was given by Rafico Ruiz a fellow Canadian student and recent ICCS intern to Greifswald, Germany, who gave a fascinating speech, and quite pertinent introduction to the conference, with his paper entitled A Kanata No More: Plotting a New Canadian Landscape. Graz decided to choose a younger scholar to open the conference, since the seminar is dedicated to young researchers. This seemed to be very successful. The evening closed with a lovely dinner with all the participants.
The following morning was opened with a panel chaired by Prof. Cornelius Remie from the Netherlands, President Elect of the International Council for Canadian Studies, entitled “Canada: Then and Now”. A panel dedicated to aspects of Canadian history as well as to its contemporary issues. Nora Hein, a representative of Austria, and a Ph.D. student at the University of Graz, gave a thoughtful presentation on Marc Lescarbot’s “Histoire de la Nouvelle France”. She questioned whether Marc Lescarbot’s historical accounts should be viewed as historiographical works, or as works of literature. Tracie Scott, a Canadian, and a student at the University of London’s Birbeck College, gave a stimulating talk on postcolonial theory and law in Canada. She argued that Aboriginal self-determination treaties in Canada represent an example of how the Canadian state has not only undergone processes of decolonization, but has also started to become a postcolonial state through postcolonial processes that have impacted on the law. Svetlana Selezneva, from Magnitogorsk State University in Russia, closed the panel with a look into the participation of Native Canadian Tribes in the modern Canadian economy, and how this situation compared with the one presently existing in Russia.
Prof. Jozef Kwaterko from the University of Warsaw in Poland chaired the following panel: “Immigration & War: the Impact on Canadian Prose and Culture”. Agapé Szkárosi and Júlia Wärmer, from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, introduced the panel with their thorough analysis of the poetry of Hungarian immigrants who settled in Quebec in 1956. They focused on the avant-garde literary review Arkánum founded by Hungarian immigrants in Quebec in the 1980s. Natalia Vid, from the University of Maribor in Slovenia, gave an especially captivating presentation on the problem of revolution and the destiny of women in Russia, during the revolutionary storm, as it is described by Nancy Richler in her novel Your Mouth is Lovely. The panel ended with Bridget O’Connell from the The Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, with her refreshing research on various Irish fiddle styles found both in Newfoundland and parts of Ireland. Musical clips in her presentation allowed her audience to relate to the different sounds of the fiddle.
After a pleasant lunch break, two panels and five more presentations followed. “The Importance of the Canadian City: Fictional and Real” was chaired by Prof. Éva Martonyi from Hungary. As a representative of Belgium, from the Free University of Brussels, Caroline de Poorter gave a comprehensive account on the interaction between literature, city and society, with her example of Moncton and how it presents itself as a literary and cultural entity in the works of Gerald Leblanc and France Daigle. Nicoleta Asandulesei, from the University of Bucharest in Romania, showed us the importance of Montreal as a Canadian city through various images; and finally Aude Hendrick, also from the Free University of Brussels, gave a dynamic talk on the representation of Africa in both the Universal Expositions of Brussels (1958) and Montreal (1967).
The day came to a close with “Questions of Memory and Identity”, which was chaired by the President of the European Network for Canadian Studies, Prof. Serge Jaumain. Neli Ileana Eiben from the University of West Timisoara in Romania spoke of Felicia Mihali and Marie-Claire Blais, drawing a comparison between the images of distress present in two particular novels written by the two female authors. Nora Tunkel, another representative of Austria, and a student at the University of Vienna, engrossed her audience with an analysis of historical fictions written by Canadian authors belonging to the (anglo-)ethnic majority published from the 1990s onwards. She intelligently argued that not only had a large corpus of historical novels emerged in the past years, but that these works of fiction displayed new strategies of form and content that could be seen as precursors of a new, post-postmodern era. The first day of the conference thus successfully ended with a much awaited reception at Graz’s Town Hall in the city centre.
Saturday, September 30th, began with “Contemporary Canadian Issues” chaired by Prof. Michelle Gadpaille from the University of Maribor in Slovenia. Lukasz Albanski, from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, introduced the panel with amusing research and anecdotes that distinguish Americans and Canadians. He argued that Canadians often identify themselves culturally as what they are not, rather than by what they are. David Bosold, a political scientist and long-time Canadianist from the University of Marburg, Germany, asked an important question: does the world need more Canada? He convincingly argued that the issue of human security in Canada has become both, a (more or less precise) foreign policy agenda and a (more ambiguous) idea of post-Cold War global security governance. By subscribing to the human security leitmotif, the country has not only adjusted its foreign policy agenda but has also tried to influence the global discourse on human security. In keeping with the political science discourse, Nikola Hynek from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, critically examined the interactions between the Canadian government and nongovernmental actors in the campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines. Moving on from Canadian politics, the panel ended on a philosophical note with Sébastien Socqué from Sorbonne University, Paris IV in France. He questioned the notion of ambiguity in Quebec and in the rest of contemporary Canada.
Following the lunch break, Vincent Defraiteur from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, introduced the second last panel “Canada At Home”, which was chaired by Prof. Vassili Sokolov, President of the Russian Association for Canadian Studies. Vincent gave an intriguing and rather amusing talk on Canada’s financial equalization system, and explained the reasons for the seemingly impossible reform of the system. He was followed by Natalia Evtikhevich from the Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, at the University of Moscow in Russia. Natalia gave a thorough analysis of the modern trends circling the higher education system in Canada. She emphasized the positive and negative aspects of commercialization, and how this phenomenon has an influence on the main trends of development of the higher education system in Canada. The panel was concluded with Jésus Abel Sánchez Inzunza, a special guest from the Autonomous University in Sinaloa, Mexico. Jésus represents the exchange that exists between the European Network for Canadian Studies and the Latin American one. A participant from this conference will be sent to the Canadian Studies conference which will be held in Latin America. Jésus spoke of Canadian Public Service, his research had two main objectives: first, to analyse the history of Canadian Public Service by marking the evolution of its most important principle: merit; and second to identify the current challenges that the merit principle faces.
A discussion of “Spirituality and Intertextuality in the Postmodernist Fictional World”, chaired by Don Sparling, President of the Central European Association for Canadian Studies, closed the 15th European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies. Paulina Korczynska, from Wroclaw University, Poland, closed with a captivating presentation on the search for transcendence in a Post-Sartrian world as represented through Douglas Coupland’s fiction. Paulina analyzed the ways in which Couplandian characters seek transcendence in a world shaped by Sartrian philosophy; a philosophy that acknowledges the absence of God and renders man divine qualities.
An undoubtedly rich and diverse conference, both in topics and cultures, the 15th European seminar was a success in that it brought about interesting intellectual and educational discussions, and allowed for the networking between young Canadianists, not only from Western and Central Europe but also from Eastern Europe. It proved that a large forum of young Canadianists exists in Europe (and in other parts of the world), and is growing in size. The topics on Canada, which in past seminars have mainly been literary, have also diversified and grown in scope and size. Feedback from young students and Canadianists shows appreciation for such conferences and a desire to see more of these types of seminars offered in the future.
Canada: Then and Now / Le Canada: passé et présent
Nora Hein (Université de Graz, Autriche)
“Histoire de la Nouvelle-France” de Marc Lescarbot – littérature ou historiographie?
Mon exposé a pour sujet l’ « Histoire de la Nouvelle-France » de Marc Lescarbot. Lescarbot, avocat et écrivain français, participa en 1606 à une expédition en Nouvelle-France. Dans son œuvre « Histoire de la Nouvelle-France », il résume le déroulement de la colonisation française en Amérique du Nord et y ajoute le récit de ses propres expériences. Je me suis demandé si l’on pourrait attribuer une valeur littéraire à cette œuvre qui se veut avant tout historiographique et ethnographique. D’après la théorie de Hayden White, tout texte historiographique utilise des structures narratives propres à la fiction. Après une petite introduction à la vie et à l’œuvre de Lescarbot, je vais analyser quelques passages de l’ « Histoire » afin de démontrer que ce texte confirme la théorie de Hayden White : les Indiens ainsi que les navigateurs français sont représentés comme des personnages d’un roman d’aventures ; les débuts de chapitres sont souvent illustrés avec des citations et des proverbes; de nombreux micro-récits insérés dans le texte témoignent de la volonté d’attirer la curiosité du lecteur. L’ « Histoire de la Nouvelle-France » de Marc Lescarbot est donc plus qu’un texte scientifique, positiviste – il se sert de structures narratives et rend ainsi perméable la frontière entre historiographie et littérature.
Tracie Scott (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)
Postcolonial Theory and Law: Conceiving of a Postcolonial State
This paper will argue that Aboriginal self-determination treaties in Canada represent an example of how the Canadian state has not only undergone processes of decolonisation, but has also started to become a postcolonial state through postcolonial processes that have impacted on the law. To advance this claim the paper will first explore how postcolonial theory and law interrelate. This investigation inevitably leads to a discussion of the nature of postcolonial theory, and ultimately the need to re-envision postcolonial theory in the face of its evolving conceptual possibilities within Indigenous Humanities in Canada. The paper will subsequently argue that the advancement of First Nation self-determination in Canada demonstrates how the operation of these innovated postcolonial processes are affecting Canadian law. The paper will then explore how the law can be seen as constitutive of the state, and how these postcolonial processes are inexorably changing the nature of Canadian sovereignty. The primary reference point for this theoretical discussion will be the Nisga’a Final Agreement, initialled by negotiators on August 4, 1998. This agreement, the product of over a hundred year struggle of the Nisga’a Nation to regain their land and right to self-determination represents the legal and political resurrection of a Nation long bereft of its sovereignty.
Svetlana Selezneva (Magnitogorsk State University, Russia)
Participation of Native Canadian Tribes in Modern Economy
Canada, as a modern society, is actively involved in the development of global economic relations. The need to participate in a fast-growing economy is well understood by native tribes. That is why new and untraditional occupations were eagerly adopted by many of them. Some of the Indian groups are specializing in construction, others are involved in agriculture and kettle, third are in tourist industry, souvenirs, fine and decorative art, as well as trade and service businesses. More and more natives are becoming shareholders of various industrial enterprises in the field of energy, transportation, communication, environment and tourism. Canadian manufacturers employ a lot of Indians; especially the involvement is heavy in diamond mining. Companies in the northern region of the country use traditional knowledge and skills of the local tribes to monitor environmental changes. However, the overall percentage of the native population lacks the qualification and skills required now days. That is why many companies, with government support, organize various training programs to help young people to acquire needed education. Also the Canadian government is trying to involve tribes of the northern region in international politics, cultural and economic relations. Our interest in this matter is the relationship between Russia and Canada. More than 25 years ago both countries were working together on a problem of the northern region and its local ethnic communities. The results of this cooperation and exchange were extremely productive: for instance, northern regions of Russia excessively use Canadian technologies in house construction. In the mid 80’s the perspectives of organizing joint ventures in mining, forestry, food and so-called local industries were actively discussed. In 1985 the council of chiefs of Indian tribes of the Quebec province suggested to work together in harvesting and processing black caviar. This project was discussed recently in 2005. We can also see the progress in the development of Russian-Canadian scientific and technological relations. In 2002 Canada and Russia joined their efforts in natural gas and oil exploration. A group of enterprises is successfully working in the Tumen region. There are also achievements in various social programs: organizing help for children with vision impairment, or programs of preserving local crafts for school children. Despite the positive involvement of native ethnic communities in a modern paced life, there are certain concerns: 1) preserving native culture, ethnicity of local tribes and overcoming assimilation awareness. 2) the problem of native’s unemployment due to the lack of proper education and qualifications is still a very sensitive issue. 3) all the changes in the lives of ethnic groups forced by their involvement in the market driven economy, are not always reflected positively on people. On the other hand, the government and the business circles of Canada are forced to take in to consideration the opinion of the public and the natives and are forced to find new ways in developing a strong political and economic relationship with ethnic communities.
Agapé Szkárosi and Júlia Wärmer (Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest, Hungary)
The Contribution of the Hungarian Minority’s Poetry to the Multilingual Quebecois Literature
This paper will analyze the poetry of Hungarian 1956 immigrants settled down in Quebec, focusing on the avant-garde literary review Arkánum founded by them in the 1980s. The most outstanding figures of this circle are George Vitéz and László Kemenes Géfin. Our presentation will concentrate on their double cultural identity as reflected in their literary work. On the one hand, how did the various aspects of their life as immigrants influence their literary expressions? On the other hand, to what extent were these poets bound to their native literary culture? At the same time, the Arkánum review is a faithful representative of the late avant-garde movement both in Quebec and in Hungary. We would like to study the question to what extent their avant-garde characteristics can be approached on a regional, national, or global scale. Our other major focus point is the analysis of the poems themselves from a double perspective. Therefore, we aim to examine the questions of the form (structure, musicality, etc.) and the problems of the content (themes, motifs), which can be related to the different levels of avant-garde literary scenes. In conclusion we wish to examine how they could contribute to the enrichment of the multicultural reality of Quebec.
Natalia Vid (University of Maribor, Slovenia)
and Female’s Destiny in Nancy Richler’s “Your
Mouth is Lovely”
A Comparative Study of Newfoundland and Irish Fiddle Styles
During the eighteenth century thousands of migrant workers from the south-east of Ireland went to work in the fisheries of Newfoundland. Among these workers were many traditional musicians, including fiddle players, some of whom chose to settle permanently in Newfoundland. Irish traditional music was set to become a major influence on the music of their adopted home. Those workers who returned to Ireland undoubtedly brought tunes and songs from Newfoundland and these possibly entered the local repertory in areas on the south coast of Ireland. In addition to the exchange of repertory, stylistic elements also passed from one tradition to the other. The link between the traditional music of Ireland and Newfoundland is particularly interesting as the migration from Ireland largely occurred before the famine when Irish music was vibrant. Fiddle styles in Newfoundland are moulded by primarily by the French-Canadian, Scottish and Irish influences. The proposed paper will examine traditional fiddle styles in Newfoundland and will evaluate how they were influenced by Irish fiddle playing with particular reference to technique, repertoire, style (including ornamentation, variation, tone, tuning and tempo), function, performing situation and status. Indeed the best know fiddle exponents, Emile Benoit (1913-1992) and Guinchard (1899-1990), display a mixture of influences ranging from French-Canadian, Irish, Scottish and personal creativity. Traditional music in Ireland and Newfoundland has been influenced by different internal and external factors in the intervening centuries. In Ireland, for instance, industrialisation and the influence of the media, particularly 78rpm recordings of virtuoso Irish fiddle players in the USA in the early 20th century, led to a phenomenal increase in instrumental music within the tradition. In Newfoundland though the traditional music still retains a very strong singing tradition. I will evaluate how the differing political and economic development, and divergent outside influences may have caused the fiddle style to evolve uniquely in each country. This will be facilitated by examining and comparing the main historical and musical trends in both traditions and combining these with a chronological analysis of the development of fiddle style using archive recordings.
Caroline de Poorter (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique)
Étude de l’interaction entre littérature, ville et société : L’inscription littéraire et culturelle de Moncton dans les romans récents de Gérald Leblanc et France Daigle.
Tributaire d’un lourd passé, l’Acadie et son peuple ont vécu une crise identitaire et culturelle encore inachevée. Tiraillée entre la continuité historico-folklorique et le désir de se tourner vers la modernité, la société acadienne a acquis dans les années 80-90 des attitudes et des structures modernes. Pourtant, actuellement, elle cherche toujours à allier l’individualisme post-moderne à l’action communautaire. C’est dans ce contexte, à partir des années 70, qu’est née une littérature dont le thème central est Moncton, capitale symbolique de l’Acadie. Sur base du concept de micro-cosmopolitisme proposé par Michael Cronin et sur celui de la géocritique dont le théoricien est Bertrand Westphal, nous tenterons de montrer à partir des romans récents de Gérald Leblanc (Moncton Mantra, 1997) et de France Daigle (Pas Pire, 1998 ; Un fin passage, 2001 ; Petites difficultés d’existence, 2002) la lente appropriation de l’espace urbain et moderne par une population « arrivée en ville ». Nous observerons ainsi l’évolution de la construction d’un espace urbain imaginaire allant de la représentation d’une ville-tableau à celle d’une ville-sculpture. Avec la création d’une véritable capitale littéraire, nous parviendrons à la conclusion qu’il y a une réelle interaction entre la littérature, la ville et la société dont la meilleure image est la solution apportée par France Daigle dans son dernier roman pour combiner la communauté à l’individualité.
Nicoleta Asandulesei (Université de Bucarest, Roumanie)
Images du Montréal
cet ouvrage je me propose de présenter différentes visions
de la ville de Montréal à travers l’histoire, un
Montréal surpris dans des différents moments de son existence
par des différents écrivains (Tremblay, Marie-Claire
Blais, Christian Mistral) ou peintres. Ville importante non seulement
pour Québec mais pour tout le Canada, Montréal a connu
une évolution au cours des années : elle est devenue
une métropole financière et commerciale mais aussi une
grande cite industrielle.
Aude Hendrick (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique)
L’Afrique aux Expositions universelles de Bruxelles 1958 et de Montréal 1967
consacré mon mémoire de licence en histoire contemporaine à la
représentation de l’Afrique aux Expositions universelles
de Bruxelles en 1958 et de Montréal en 1967.
Neli Ileana Eiben (l’Université de l’Ouest de Timisoara, Roumanie)
La saison de la détresse et de la déchéance. Felicia Mihali et Marie-Claire Blais, écrivaines du « malaise paysan »
voudrais faire une parallèle entre Le pays de fromage de Felicia
Michali, une écrivaine roumaine vivant au Québec, et
Une saison dans la vie d’Emmanuel de Marie-Claire Blais. Je voudrais
parler de la détresse et de la déchéance du monde
qu’elles décrivent avec tant de sens de la réalité et
en même temps avec tant de désespoir.
Historical Fiction in the Light of Globalisation – Transnationalism, Transculturalism and Identity
In the past decades, theories on postcolonialism, multiculturalism and hybridity, and the impact of the works of immigrant writers (esp. fictions of memory) on the Canadian literary scene have developed into dominant, reciprocal concerns in academia. In the course of the evolvement of these trends, the fact that other, non-(recent)immigrant writers in Canada, too, have increasingly turned to histories as sources of inspiration and a means to explore their identity, has to a large degree been neglected by scholars. Taking into consideration that the Canadian nation has come to represent a kind of microcosm of globalization issues (e.g. the ongoing debate on multiculturalism, economic dependencies and cultural influences of the US) the relevance of these literary texts within Canadian culture becomes evident. In my paper, I will analyze historical fictions written by Canadian authors belonging to the (anglo-)ethnic majority published from the 1990s onwards. Not only has a large corpus of such historical novels emerged in the past years, these works of fiction also display new strategies of form and content that could be seen as precursors of a new, post-postmodern era. Recent Canadian historical fictions demonstrate the gradual retreat from the highly deconstructive meta-fictional narrative modes of the postmodern period. Despite the evident preference for more traditional and “re-constructive” forms of narration, contemporary writers have not lost the critical stance towards history and epistemological issues so prominent since the 1980s. In fact, the decline of the postmodern discourse must not be regarded as a return to the less experimental but as an inevitable process, one of re-evaluation and extension rather than one of retrogression. On a thematic level, it is significant that the authors of these novels do not hesitate to cross national and cultural borderlines, even though it is the exploration of their own (communal or regional) histories and identities that often stand at the center of their fictional quests. After centuries of struggles and discussions regarding Canadian identity, these recent historical fictions reflect a more confident self-perception and a present-day Canadian cultural imaginary enriched by transnational and transcultural perspectives. Reflections on the influence of globalization on these literary developments especially in novels by Jane Urquhart, Guy Vanderhaeghe and Richard B. Wright will constitute a major part of this paper.
Lukasz Albanski (Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland)
Mentalities and Values – Americans and Canadians
This paper included focus on the impact of Canadian identity. Although the two countries view good bilateral relations as crucial to a wide range of shared interests and beliefs, the national pride has a powerful emotional appeal. One of the most important instruments of shaping Canadian national pride is to highlight whatever is in opposition to American features. The Joe’s Rant (the Molson Canadian commercial) will be mentioned here as an example. The national stereotypes are able to rely on vast reservoirs of cultural and historical capital that can be used in defining differences: historical events, myths, jokes, competition in respective national sports etc. that are used to differentiate own group and to describe others. The Canadian identity seems to define itself largely in terms of the cultural characteristics that distinguish Canadians and Americans. Although some people argued that probably the closest and most extensive relationship (between two countries) would turn Canadian culture into a mirror image of U.S. culture. In many cases the people of both countries speak the same language, watch the same television shows and cheer at the same sports events. Northrop Frye (1912-1992) said that historically, a Canadian was an American who rejected revolution.
David Bosold (University of Marburg, Germany)
“Does the World Need More Canada?” Canada’s Idealist Tradition and the Human Security Agenda
“Human Security” has become both, a (more or less precise) foreign policy agenda and a (more ambiguous) idea of post-Cold War global security governance. By subscribing to the human security leitmotif, the country has not only adjusted its foreign policy agenda but also tried to influence the global discourse on human security, e.g. with the report of the Canada-sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) or the creation of the Human Security Network (HSN). Especially within the United Nations framework Canada has tried to gain support for its variant of the human security idea. In the paper these processes shall be analysed by looking at the two-level problematique – that is, in how far Canada has successfully influenced thinking and practice of human security at the UN and in how far the international discourse has had an impact on the domestic policies and conceptualisation of human security. In presenting a more refined version of Putnam’s two-level games model, I will try to give evidence for my argument that the idealist tradition in Canadian foreign policy has been crucial in developing the country’s human security agenda by trying to project Canadian values onto a global level. By juxtaposing fragments of the global and domestic discourses, I will argue, however, that the tradition of coalition building and strong support for multilateralism – especially together with other middle powers – has been the key reason for continuous reformulation and change and therefore primarily accounts for the agenda’s inconsistencies.
Nikola Hynek (University of Plymouth, UK & Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic)
Governmentality of Advanced Liberalism: Mapping the Politics of Symbiotic Functionalism in a “Critical Re-reading of the Landmine Case”
This paper critically examines interactions between the Canadian government and nongovernmental actors in the campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines. I specifically make two arguments: firstly, counter to the popular perception that there is tension between state-centric and transnational worlds, I argue that the landmine case has in fact been the example of a new type of functional-symbiotic relationship informed by what is called, following Foucault and Rose, advanced liberalism. Secondly, it is suggested that a crucial moment enabling the landmine campaign to begin came with a change in rationality of key governments, the Canadian one in particular. In the first instance, attention will be directed towards the concept of middlepowerhood and its political function as a legitimising factor behind the so-called ‘New Diplomacy’. Afterwards the shift in governmentalities will be demonstrated on the issue of production, funding and the use of knowledge about security. What follows is an empirical analysis in the critical re-reading of the landmine case.
Sébastien Socqué (Université de Paris IV Sorbonne, France)
Ambiguïté restreinte, ambiguïté générale : la querelle de l’ambiguïté dans le Québec et le Canada contemporains
notion d’ambiguïté a été mobilisée
depuis quelques années au Canada et au Québec pour penser
la situation historique, identifier le(s) profil(s) identitaire(s)
et légitimer des orientations politiques précises.
Vincent Defraiteur (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgique)
The Financial Equalization in Canada – The Reasons Why the Equalization System Seems to be Impossible to Reform – Analyse Staring from the Attempt at October 2004
Etudiant en maîtrise en sciences politiques, je suis amené à étudier la péréquation financière au Canada. La péréquation est un mode de financement des provinces canadiennes visé à l’article 36 al. 2 de la Constitution de 1982 par lequel le gouvernement fédéral fournit aux provinces récipiendaires les fonds nécessaires en vue de fournir aux citoyens canadiens des services publics de qualité comparable moyennant des taux d’imposition comparable. Il s’agit d’un sujet fort technique mais sur lequel les discussions politiques sont virulentes entre le gouvernement fédéral (titulaire unique de la compétence), les provinces riches (contributrices indirectes (Ontario et Alberta)) et les provinces pauvres (les huit autres provinces, en particulier les provinces atlantiques). La réforme lancée en octobre 2004, dite du Nouveau cadre, a souligné les faiblesses du système actuel et avait pour vocation d’y remédier. Or, à l’heure actuelle, pour des raisons politiques (essentiellement le changement de gouvernement le 23 janvier dernier), la réforme est suspendue et pourrait même être entièrement repensée par le gouvernement conservateur. L’actualité de la question implique la quasi-inexistence d’analyses scientifiques sur la réforme en cours et ses enjeux. La péréquation a par contre fait l’objet d’analyses d’ordre économique mais non politique. Ma communication au séminaire s’articulera comme suit : après l’exposé de la raison d’être des mécanismes péréquatifs dans les états fédéraux, je présenterai brièvement l’historique de la situation au Canada jusqu’en 1982. Ensuite, j’exposerai le système actuel et les critiques dont il fait l’objet. Enfin, je décrirai la réforme d’octobre 2004 et des raisons de son échec.
Natalia Evtikhevich (Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Moscow, Russia)
Modern Trends of Development of the Higher Education System in Canada
Currently the higher education is regarded as social, economic and public value, as a basis for the implementation of knowledge-based economy model. Higher education system is an important element of progressive development of individual, society, economy and state in general. Education will be one of the main issue on G-8 Summit in July 2006. It is an issue of common concern. At the end of XX century dramatic changes in state regulation of economy in Canada took place. This fact had influence on higher education system: public funding has dropped and the process of commercialization has become more active. This phenomenon influences the way of development of higher education system and it’s further function, it touches the basic values of education. Canadian universities look for additional sources of funding, different from public. The paper examines the roots of commercialization and examines how commercialization influences the main trends of development of higher education system. The correlation between commercialization and increasing tuition fees is examined and possible ways out, such as grant and loan system, are described. When public funding is reducing, internationalization is regarded not only as a natural way of development of higher education but also as an additional source of funding. Such aspect as distance education, where Canada used to be number one, it’s evolving goals under the influence of commercialization is examined. Commercialization influences universities R&D. On the one hand agreements with private sector and corporations are an important source of funding, on the other hand sometimes corporations try to give priorities to research programs that are not consonant with interests of universities and society. Thus, the thesis analyses the positive and negative sides of commercialization and the influence of this phenomenon on the main trends of development of higher education system in Canada.
Jésus Abel Sánchez Inzunza (Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, México)
Canadian Public Service: Between Management and Merit
research has two main objectives: the first one is to analyze the history
of Canadian Public Service, remarking the evolution of its most important
principle: the merit. The second one is to identify the current challenges
that merit faces. The first part in this paper includes a theoretical
approach, where I review concepts such as bureaucracy, public service,
merit and new public management. In the second part, I talk about the
origin and development of Canadian Public Service, from Confederation
(1867) to the end of Jean Chrétien government (2003). In the
beginning, this institution had to face problems like the political
patronage. Later on, it had to adopt different measures to become representative
and efficient. During the 1970’s, Canadian government had to
face a serious budget deficit that affected the public servants. The
Mulroney administration was not able to find an effective solution,
and the federal budget balance was reached during Chrétien’s
government. However, at the end of XXth Century, Public Service had
accumulated different problems, due to practices adopted from new public
management. This kind of reforms produced a deep crisis in human management.
In this sense, public service and its institutions had important tasks:
avoid bureaucratic patronage and favoritism, assure a renewing process
and guarantee a good equilibrium between merit and efficiency.
Paulina Korczynska (Wroclaw University, Poland)
In Search of Transcendence in a Post-Sartrian World in Douglas Coupland’s fiction
Man has entered Postmodernity spiritually handicapped: God was proclaimed dead and expelled from the realm of human spirituality; the universal moral and ethical code dissipated when man enclosed himself inside his simulacra – his private version of reality. Now he seems to have neither religion, nor applicable tools to re-embark on the transcendental path. In his fiction, Douglas Coupland takes under a close scrutiny the spiritual condition of man today. He leads him through various settings of the post-modern world and wanders with him in the spiritually barren landscape, which in fact, turns out to be a reflection of his mindscape. As Coupland expressively suggests, man, despite his unrestrained freedom, self-sufficiency, and nearly godlike attributes occasioned by the modern science, harbours within himself the indelible need for experiencing the transcendental realm. In my research, I analyze the ways in which Couplandian characters seek transcendence in the world shaped by the Sartrian philosophy – philosophy that acknowledges the absence of God and renders man divine qualities. Firstly, I focus on the protagonist in the world of denied spirituality where, due to the lack of adequate means, he is able to pursue only the glimpses of transcendence in his past, longings, or vague memories. However, propelled by the awareness of the alternative super ordinate reality, he gradually progresses in his search and discerns that the presence of another human person might also be the source of transcendence. Finally, when he embraces the concept of divinity as indispensable to his life, he reclaims his spiritual self. To analyze the Couplandian journey towards transcendence I use philosophical concepts of Soren Kierkegaard, Charles Taylor, Emmanuel Levinas, Alasdair MacIntyre, Herbert W. Richardson, and Karol Tarnowski.
Last Update: 7/11/06