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Publisher Description

As the recent dossiers in Voix et images and Spirale, and the colloquia at ACFAS (2) attest, anglo-Quebec literature is increasingly a site of research for francophone scholars (3) in the field of Quebec Studies. Scholarly interest in English-language writing in Quebec among Francophones is not, of course, a new phenomenon. Since the late 1960s, Richard Giguere, Naim Kattan, Gilles Marcotte, Robert Melancon, Pierre Nepveu, Sherry Simon, Antoine Sirois, Patricia Smart, Lori St-Martin, Philip Stratford, and others have analyzed texts written in English, often in conjunction with texts written in French and often in the interests of exploring a shared poetics of exile or of translation, a shared feminist politics, a shared Jewish culture, or a shared geography, whether of Montreal or of l'Estrie. The field of anglo-Quebec writing emerges from, and bears the traces of, this earlier French-language scholarship by translation theorists, feminist critics, the "Montreal-imaginaire" research group, and comparatists of Canadian and Quebec literature. But none of this earlier scholarship uses the term "litterature anglo-quebecoise" which has begun to circulate in French-language circles over the last seven or eight years (4) and only very occasionally does it include the work of contemporary English-language writers such as David Homel, Robert Majzels, and Gail Scott whose writing is now the focus of scholarly essays (Hamel, Lane-Mercier, Lapointe, Leclerc, Poirier). The presence of prominent francophone scholars in the present dossier is another sign of a shift in reception. Whereas the 1998/1999 dossier in Quebec Studies "Ecrire en anglais au Quebec: un devenir minoritaire?" consists of an essay by Marcotte and the responses of five writers (Nicole Brossard, Linda Leith, Robert Majzels, Marco Micone, Scott), the present issue includes essays by three scholars (Jane Everett, Catherine Leclerc, Simon Harel) and three writers (Leith, Majzels, Scott). Both dossiers grew out of round table discussions at conferences, one in 1997 (Universite de Montreal) (5) and another in 2006 (ACFAS), at which participants presented position papers in French on contemporary anglo-Quebec writing. In this sense, the constitution of each dossier is largely a function of who had been invited by the conference organizers to participate. (6) Of course, the level of research activity also affected the pool from which the organizers could draw. In the mid-1990s, beyond the members of the organizing committee, there were very few Francophones researching English-language writing. Those engaged in such research tended to focus on specific writers who had begun publishing prior to the Quiet Revolution, (7) more than on anglo-Quebec letters and its relation to the field of Quebec letters. (8) In the interests of hearing the critical perspectives of writers, and in the relative absence of a strong response to the call for papers from francophone scholars, the 1997 organizing committee asked Marcotte to write a paper and several writers to respond. At that moment, writers--francophone and anglophone--seemed more willing to speak to the problematic of anglo-Quebec writing than scholars. In 2006, organizers invited Leith, Majzels, and Scott back to the table in order to have their sense of changes in the field since the 1997 conference. In the place of francophone writers, we were able to include francophone scholars whose critical perspectives develop and complicate those of Marcotte.

September 22
American Council for Quebec Studies
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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