Club Supersexe
Montreal: Colonisation, Urbanisation, Migration (1900–present)
103B :  Language and Culture
Spring 2023
Class No: 21634
228 Dwinelle
Will Burton
2:00 - 2:59 PM

Montreal is the world’s fourth largest francophone city and North America’s eight largest one. As a French-speaking city surrounded by anglophone jurisdictions, the city lays at the crossroads of multiple histories of colonisation. As such, its authors and filmmakers have grappled with other central North American issues like sexuality, migration, racism and urbanisation in a way distinct from the Spanish– and English-language traditions that dominate the continent. We will study a selection of such works from the past century or so, divided into four broad categories:

  1. francophone settlers’ efforts to construct a uniquely North American voice;
  2. the social and economic dislocations caused North American-style industrialisation;
  3. Indigenous resistance to colonisation in and around Montreal; and
  4. migration to the city in the wake of slavery and war in the francophone world.

During the semester, students will complete a series of graduated exercises to initiate them in writing literary and filmic analysis. These exercises will culminate in a term paper.


Texts (*indicates that students will need to acquire a copy):
Berthelot Brunet, Les Hypocrties. La folle expérience de Philippe, roman, Montreal: Typo, 1989 [éd. originale : 1945]. (excerpts)

*Dany Laferrière, Comment faire l’amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer, roman, Montreal : VLB, 1985. ISBN : 9782890052185.

Émile Nelligan, Poésies. Édition originale de 1904, Montreal: Bibliothèque québécoise, 2012. (excerpts)

Gabrielle Roy, Bonheur d’occasion, roman, Montreal: Boréal, 1993 [1945]. (excerpts)

Sherry Simon, L’Hybridité culturelle, essai, Montreal: L’Île de la tortue, 1999. (excerpts)

*Michel Tremblay, Les Belles-Sœurs, pièce de théâtre, Montreal : Leméac / Actes Sud, 2007 [1ère représentation, 1965]. ISBN : 9782742770991.

Aquin, Hubert. À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre. Film documentaire. Office national du film, 1962.

Bourdon, Luc. La Mémoire des anges. Collage cinématographique. Office national du film, 1985.

Burrows, Arthur and Jean Palardy. Montreal by Night. Office national du film du Canada, 1947.

Girard, François. Hochelaga, terre des âmes. Film de fiction. Les films Séville, 2017.

Obomsawin, Alanis. Kanehsatake, 270 ans de résistance. Film documentaire. Office national du film, 1993.

———. Sans adresse. Film documentaire. Office national du film, 1988.

Rached, Tahani. Haïti (Québec). Film documentaire. Office national du film, 1985.