When Injustice is Fully Bilingual (2022 Mallory Lecture)


Tuesday, February 15, 4 p.m. ET via Zoom.

Register here.

Canada has two official languages, two different imperial legacies, two dominant cultures, two mainstream media landscapes — which have an unequal, often competitive, sometimes painful relationship with one another. The question is: where does that leave everyone else? The 2022 Mallory Lecture, delivered by Emilie Nicolas, will explore the impact of the French-English duality on social movements that advocate for decolonization, antiracism and social justice in Canada. Emilie Nicolas will discuss how the competing nationalist discourses often leave "others" stuck between a rock and a hard place — and what strategies can be put forward to escape fully bilingual injustice.

Emilie Nicolas is a columnist with Le Devoir and The Montreal Gazette, as well as a consultant and public speaker on public policy, equity, human rights, international cooperation, race and gender issues. She is a regular contributor to CBC's Power & Politics and Let's Go, CTV's PowerPlay and Canadaland, and has been published in several journals, magazines and newspapers, both in French and English. Most recently, she won Quebec’s cultural magazine (SODEP) 2020 Excellence Award for Best Essay for a piece in Liberté magazine.

As a Vanier Scholar and PhD candidate in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Emilie focused her research on the role of a shared language in the connections between Quebec and Haiti. Emilie holds an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the same university. She recently taught the course “#BlackLivesMatter in the Media” at the University of St. Michael’s College.

The webinar discussion will be moderated by MISC director Daniel Béland and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Simultaneous interpretation in French and English will be offered.

About the Mallory Lectures:

Created in 1995, the Mallory Lecture is an annual event hosted by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC), in honour of the late J.R. Mallory, Professor of Political Science and pioneer of Canadian Studies at McGill.

James Russell Mallory (1916-2003) was educated at New Brunswick (BA Hons), Dalhousie (MA), and Edinburgh (LLB). He touched many through his teaching and written works about the constitution and workings of Canadian government. He served at McGill for 45 years and was chairman of the Economics & Political Science department for a decade. After retiring in 1982, he was appointed professor emeritus and continued to teach for another 10 years. In 1964, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and was later awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.

Past Mallory Lecture speakers include Elizabeth Mae, Thomas Mulcair, Warren Allmand, Andrew Coyne, Cindy Blackstock, John Gomery, Phyllis Lambert, and Bob Rae.

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