January 11th, 2018: Book Launch: "The Problem of Hockey in Quebec History", by Professor Andrew Holman

On Thursday, January 11th, Canadian sport historian Andrew Holman presented a book talk on The Same But Different: Hockey in Quebec, co-edited with Jason Blake. His lecture offered an in-depth examination of how ice hockey's role in Quebec extends far beyond serving as a popular pastime and national obsession, but is rather embedded in and shaped by the politics of identity and national affirmation in the province. 

Professor Andrew Holman is Professor of History and Director of the Canadian Studies Program at the Bridgewater State University.

See photos here.


February 21st, 2018: Books That Matter
Indigenous Writes with Chelsea Vowel

“Delgamuukw. Sixties Scoop. Bill C-31. Blood quantum. Appropriation. Two-Spirit. Tsilhqot’in. Pass and permit. Numbered Treaties. Terra nullius.” 

On February 21, 2018, Métis activist, scholar, educator, and author Chelsea Vowel visited McGill to present her book, Indigenous Writes, in which she opens an important dialogue about these (and more) concepts and the wider social beliefs associated with the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada.

Poster for 23rd Annual Conference Kick-Off Event: a film screening of The Price We Pay - Wed, 21 February 2018, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST

February 21st, 2018: 23rd Annual Conference Kick-Off Event: a film screening of The Price We Pay  with Brigitte Alepin

To kick-off its 23rd annual conference, MISC hosted a free screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, The Price We Pay.

"Inspired by Brigitte Alepin’s book La Crise fiscale qui vient, director Harold Crooks (who co-directed Surviving Progress with Mathieu Roy) blows the lid off the dirty world of corporate malfeasance with this incendiary documentary about the dark history and dire present-day reality of big-business tax avoidance, which has seen multinationals depriving governments of trillions of dollars in tax revenues by harboring profits in offshore havens. Tax havens, originally created by London bankers in the 50s, today put over half the world’s stock of money beyond reach of public treasuries."

A discussion followed the screening with the film's Prix Gémeaux-winning co-writer and tax specialist, Brigitte Alepin.


Poster for BMP Rotating Lectureship: First Nationhood in Mi’kmaw Territory Today by Simone Poliandri, 27 Feb 2018, 16:00 to 17:30February 27th, 2018: BMP Rotating Lectureship: First Nationhood in Mi’kmaw Territory Today by Simone Poliandri

This lecture, presented by Simone Poliandri (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Bridgewater State University), focused on the nation-building strategies that the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia have implemented in the last decade, as First nationalism has increasingly become one of the strongest and most effective expressions – both ideological and practical – of Aboriginal sovereignty and self-determination. 

This event was brought to you by the BMP Rotating Lecture Program in Canadian Studies, established in 2013 as a formal partnership among the Canadian Studies programs of McGill University, Bridgewater State University and SUNY College at Plattsburgh. The Lectureship is designed to strengthen connections between the programs, share expertise in the area of Canadian Studies, and to expand audiences and interests in the field.

March 14th, 2018: Indigeneity and North East India: A Cinematic Vision

In this talk, Professor Debashree Dattaray, MISC Visiting Scholar from Jadavpur University, discussed the profound paradox that is the North East of India today: a place which simultaneously represents the frontiers of globalization as well as a heritage of Indigenous traditions and cultures. Mainstream Indian films, popular media, and news more than often posit the Northeast as the “other” from patronizing or limited perspectives. This talk examined how Indigenous cinema ‘returns’ the gaze while producing profound art, through its lyrical use of nature and locations and the discussion of hard-hitting issues pertinent to the region. See the full abstract here.


March 28th, 2018: Books That Matter with Steven Pinker: Enlightenment Now

If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet, if you follow the trend lines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress.

As part of MISC's 2018 Books That Matter series, McGill alumnus and Montreal native Steven Pinker presented the findings of his latest New York Times best-selling book to a packed crowd at the McIntyre Medical Building. Enlightenment Now acknowledges that the challenges we face today are formidable, but it also shows that the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. This is the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st Century. 

View photos from the event here and video here.


April 6th, 2018: Rediscovering the Scots: A Colloquium to Inaugurate the Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies

The Scottish influence in Canadian history has been of undeniable importance, facilitated by intensifying transatlantic ties between Scotland and northern North America and manifested in multiple spheres of Canadian society, from business and government to education and cultural life. As historians increasingly investigate Canadian history’s transnational dimensions, there remains much to discover about the Scottish connection and its diverse impacts. This one-day colloquium, Rediscovering the Scots, inaugurated the St. Andrew’s Society/McEuen Scholarship Foundation Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies, beginning a conversation that will work towards defining and realizing a broader research agenda for the study of the Scots and Scottishness in Quebec and Canadian history.

View photos from the event here


April 9th, 2018: The 2018 Winter Eakin Lecture presented by Michèle Mendelssohn: "The World Needs More Canada - or does it?"

In recent years, "The World Needs More Canada" has become a beloved slogan. It encapsulates one of the country’s favourite stories about itself: open-minded, immigrant-friendly, tolerant, cosmopolitan. Why do Canadians believe this? Are these values specifically “Canadian”? How did this national narrative come into existence? The answers to these questions tell us who we think we are, and what we want the world to think of us. They go to the heart of Canadian culture and its relationship to the world. This lecture examined the literature, history and politics of Canadian cosmopolitanism and how this story is shaping its future.

View photos from the event here.


April 26-27th, 2018: IHSP Annual Conference - Legalizing Marijuana in Canada: Policy Challenges

Organized by McGill's Institute for Health & Social Policy, this two-day conference examinde all aspects of the policy challenges facing Canada as it moves to legalize marijuana. A wide range of topics will be covered by local, national, and international experts with interdisciplinary panels on public safety, clinical impacts, Canada’s international legal obligations, and the economic and political implications of marijuana legalization. 


2018 Canadian Municipal Election Study Conference

MISC co-sponsored the 2018 Canadian Municipal Election Study conference, 'Montreal and Quebec in Focus', held on June 19th at McGill University.

The event was free and open to the public.

June 19th 2018, 8:30a.m.-4:40p.m. | Leacock 232, McGill University


The Long Echo of Quebec Student Politics

We welcomed Prof. Graham Fraser, bestselling author, Canadian political figure and current associate professor to McGill for this fantastic event. This event was held on September 27, to kick off the new fall semester at Thomson House Ballroom. It was a great event with great discussions. To summarize the event: Many elements of the 1960s have been analyzed as factors in the transformation of Quebec society: secularization, the independence movement, Social Credit, and terrorism. Relatively little attention has been given to the effect of a student movement which broke away from the Canadian Union of Students to form the Union générale des étudiants du Québec. Graham Fraser describes the formation of the organization, the dilemma it represented for McGill students, its collapse in the wave of demonstrations and occupations in 1968-69 and argues that the training it provided for student leaders and the assumptions that underlay UGEQ shaped the leadership of Quebec’s elite for decades to come.

If you'd like to read Prof. Fraser's speech, send us an email at misc.iecm [at] mcgill.ca 

View pictures of the event here.


Novemer 29th, 2018: The Fall 2018 Eakin Lecture "Sports and Canadian Values: Baseball in Hockey's Shadow"

Our 2018 Eakin Visiting Fellow, Professor Robert Elias joins us for the Fall 2018 Eakin Lecture. He will discuss why sports matter, how they reflect national values, and what they say about Canadian society. He'll examine the hidden history of baseball in Canada (dating back to the early 1800s) in the shadow hockey and as America's national pastime. Contrary to popular understanding, baseball is native to Canada and has made an important contribution to Canadian values. He'll emphasize the role of baseball in Quebec, in particular, beyond the saga of Jackie Robinson, as well as the prospects for returning Major League Baseball to Montreal.

See photos of the event here.


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