Message from the Professor 2014

Message from the Professor

I believe that graduating Canadianists should be able to decrypt messages in the public discourses about Canada and its capital, as well as their symbolic roles and the way they are framed in current issues. Capstone Seminar in Advanced Research in Canadian Studies was organized around three main skills to implement for achieving the desired results: library and archival research, organization of findings and circulation. These skills were used to plan and organize a museum activity, and publish an article to be circulated in an academic journal.

As always in this course, students were soon able to suggest alternative “readings” of Canada, to enter and use properly all the resources available in an academic way in order to present their findings in the public domain.

Students devoted time and energy to plan and present the scenario for a museum activity, and to submit their papers to an impressive and hard-working Editorial Board composed of graduate students : Amanda Murphy, Sarah Spear, Jessica Helps, Tiffany Douglas, Heather LeRoux, Victoria Ellis, Stephanie Elliott, Cassandra Joyce, Brittany Collier, Greer Brabazon, Paula Chinkiwsky, Sarah Baker, our subject-specialist librarian Martha Attridge Bufton and our visiting scholar who is also our guest editor this year Daniel MacFarlane (whom I wish to congratulate on his new book and an upcoming tenure track position!). I would like to stress the rigour and seriousness of our editorial board and give special thanks to Brittany Collier, for accepting to co-author one of the articles and the biggest thanks of all to Emma Gooch and Ryan Lux, not only for their commitment in the regular job of an editor, but also for their patience in editing until the last minute!

I would like to thank the team of students from the graduate programme in Museology from Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) and their professor Dr. Nada Lukic for their guidance and help throughout the term. Special thanks go to Frederic, France, Suzanne, Didier and also to Brigitte Hamon from the Canadian Museum of History.

Dr. Samah Sabra gave an inspiring writing workshop mid-term without which many papers would not have make it to the completion stage.  Obviously, without the help and enthusiasm I received from Patrick Lyons and Andrew Barrett from the Educational Development Center of Carleton University, I would never have the chance to get the patient and effective support of Shermeen Nizami, our desk editor. Thanks to Pauline Rankin for supporting this celebration, and to Cathy Schmueck and Lori Dearman for their caring presence and helping hands. Thanks to Kathrin Gardner and Katie Hayes from EDC for last minute edits and perfect skills!


This year, students chose to explore missing narratives and misrepresentations of Canada within the national space. Through this journal, students are publishing a message about Canadian identities and representations that is relevant for themselves in the course of their studies.

Nevertheless, each author knows and understands that their assertions, their messages and their conclusions belong to them. These do not necessarily reflect the School of Canadian Studies’ messages nor mine. Academic freedom is something worth the work, different from liberty of opinion, and each author understands the responsibility in this matter.

We are proud to launch this fourth issue around the theme of narrated artifacts. Indeed, as pretty as a curated exhibit can appear, choices are made to preserve and showcase certain artifacts. To remember, one also has to forget. Hence, students chose to look at what they deem being missing from the national narratives in the public space. Memory is like a necklace of pearls. The spacing is as important as the pearls. Despite the appearance, there is a string, a narrative, which holds fragments, or artifacts, together. We are challenging such narrative. I see then the students as both pearl divers and space investigators.

It is with great pleasure and pride that I wish to celebrate the launch of this fourth issue of Capstone Seminar Series entitled (Re)Negotiating Artifacts of Canadian Narratives of Identity.


Dr. Anne Trépanier