FRENCH 362 - Quebec and French Canadian Studies
Section: 001 Je me souviens
Term: WN 2018
Subject: French (FRENCH)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Two courses in FRENCH numbered 250-299; or FRENCH 235 and two RCLANG 320; or FRENCH 235, one course in FRENCH numbered 250-299 and one RCLANG 320.
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

After almost all of French-speaking Canada was conquered by Great Britain in 1763, former French subjects became subjects of the British throne. In spite of Anglo-Canadian efforts to assimilate their French-speaking compatriots (or the exodus that the British forced on Acadians), Québec and other French-speaking regions in Canada have maintained an identity and culture distinguished from those who, in time, would become the majority. Likewise, Québécois identity has distinguished itself just as strongly from European French culture. Yet in spite of an armed rebellion in the 1830s, the Quiet Revolution, the “terrorist” acts of the FLQ (Front de Libération du Québec), and two referenda on the separation of Québec (both of which narrowly failed to pass), Québec remains a nation within a nation with a strong sense of national identity, yet without a sovereign state.

The motto printed on every Québécois license plate states, “Je me souviens.” In this most official of expressions of Québécois identity, remembering the past plays a key role in preserving a collective identity in the face of marginalization and in embodying this identity as an individual (the “je” of the motto). Though the sentence leaves exactly what is remembered open for interpretation, it is often stated that the implied object of memory is the defeat of the French by the British on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City (1759). This course, however, will examine all possible memories evoked by this motto. We shall read Québécois literary and other cultural texts as articulations of Québécois national identity and consider them in their historical and political contexts while devoting special attention to the role of memory in writing Québécois identity. Special attention will be devoted to the writing of history through literary forms, the role of the Catholic church (which had a monopoly on the Québécois school system until the 1960s) as a stronghold of the French language and Québécois culture, the unorthodox ways catholic-ness is lived on a day-to-day basis, and the importance of gender and sexuality (in particular, non-normative sexualities) in Québécois identity (often in contradictory cohabitation with the religious aspects of national culture). We shall also examine the specific forms Québécois feminism has taken, the role of intellectuals in public culture, and the implications of incorporating joual, or popular Québécois spoken French, into literary texts.


  • Jean Hamelin and Jean Provencher, Brève histoire du Québec
  • Louis Caron, Le canard de bois
  • Louis Hémon, Maria Chapdelaine
  • Hubert Aquin, Prochain épisode (selections)
  • Michel Tremblay, Damnée Manon, Sacrée Sandra
  • Antoinine Maillet, La ságouine (selections)
  • Anne Hébert, Kamouraska
  • Roch Carrier, La guerre, yes,sir!
  • Gabrielle Roy, Bonheur d’occasion (selections)
  • Pierre Vallières, Nègres blancs d’Amérique (selections)
  • Michèle Lalonde, “Speak White”
  • Nicole Brossard, L’amèr ou le chapitre effrité

Course Requirements:

There will be three written exercises, one final paper, and regular in-class writings. Participation is a crucial component of the course.

Intended Audience:

No data provided

Class Format:

No data provided

FRENCH 362 - Quebec and French Canadian Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9782890522824
Le canard de bois : roman, Author: Caron, Louis (1942- )., Publisher: Bore?al 2006
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 289431891X
Maria Chapdelaine : re?cit du Canada franc?ais, Author: He?mon, Louis (1880-1913)., Publisher: Les e?ditions JCL 2013
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9782894061176
Prochain e?pisode, Author: Aquin, Hubert, 1929-1977., Publisher: BQ, Bibliothe?que Que?be?coise 2006
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 2923662008
La guerre, yes sir! : roman, Author: Carrier, Roch, 1937-, Publisher: Stanke? 2008
Other Textbook Editions OK.
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