Experts in: Comparative history
- European discoveries and exploration
- Epistolary exchanges
- Comparative history
- Socio-religious history
- Sexual and gender identity
- Religious orders
- Religions, identities and politics
- Modern Times
My research concerns the comparative history of identity construction in 16th-18th century Europe and the Americas, with a number of complementary aspects: the vision of the Other and the question of self (episteme and mentalities; objectives and methods of persuasion); the role of the two sexes in the individual and collective construction of identity; historical evidence and the memory of self. With regard to this first theme, I published Croire et faire croire. Les missions françaises au 17e siècle(Paris, Fayard, 2003), showing the far-reaching connections between the perception of otherness and the representations of modern identity in the context of the first globalization, i.e. missionary imperialism, at a time when France was undergoing true domestic colonization. A second theme developed from this research, and allowed me to embark on two parallel publications: the first, Les autobiographies spirituelles et l'émergence du sujet moderne, is aimed at understanding how men and women in France and its colonies learned to see themselves as acting subjects. The second publication, the third of my research themes, is entitled Memoire de soi, mémoire des autres, and compares the annals of various religious congregations in France and New France to determine the traces that small communities wished to leave for posterity, sometimes at the cost of a certain distortion of the historical record. On the basis of this work, I was invited to edit a scientific history of the Sulpicians of Canada in which the chapters I wrote concern the duty of memory, identity markers, and relations between others and the Sulpicians, who were key figures in Montreal history (D. Deslandres, John A. Dickinson and Ollivier Hubert, eds. Les Sulpiciens de Montréal. Une histoire de pouvoir et de discrétion (Montreal, Fides, 2007). Along the same lines, I co-edited, with Raymond Brodeur and Thérèse Nadeau-Lacour, Lecture inédite de la modernité aux origines de la Nouvelle France. Marie Guyart de l'Incarnation et les autres fondateurs religieux (Quebec City, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 2010) to mark the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. I am currently writing a biography of Marie Guyart de l'Incarnation, founder of the very first school for women in America, while continuing my work on the roles of the sexes, religion and politics in the history of modern-day French expansion.
- Ancient Rome
- Late antiquity
- Roman Empire
- Empire and imperialism
- Greek and Latin epigraphy
- Comparative history
- History of ideas
- Social history
- International relations
I teach Roman history, the so-called auxiliary sciences (epigraphy, numismatics and literature) and advanced Latin courses for the Centre d'études classiques (detached 50%) and the Department of History. My main field of research is the history of the Roman Empire, in particular the Late Empire period (192-565 AD). My research activities fall into three categories.
- My main interest lies in the history of the administration and political system of the Roman Empire, especially the reorganization of its provinces in the Late Empire period.
- A second focus of my research has to do with themes of cultural history and mentalities during the Late Empire. This is a direct outgrowth of my main interest, because I have often had to use literary sources in studying the administrative history of the Empire, and in such cases I have had to first understand the cultural background in order to grasp the opinions expressed regarding administrative changes. My interest in this research has particularly to do with Latin and Greek authors who expressed their opinions on politics, although they are not classified in the "historiography" category, such as the sermons by Church Fathers Ambrose of Milan and John Chrysostom, the panegyrics of Themistius, and epic poetry.
- The third aspect is dedicated to the history of science in antiquity and the historiographical themes related to science, i.e. to famous figures of antiquity (Constantine the Great) or the writings of ancient authors (Livy and Ammianus Marcellinus).
My MA and PhD students have worked on the first two fields of research, but not exclusively. Regardless of the research topic, I consider a good knowledge of ancient languages (Latin and Greek), modern languages (English, German, Italian and Spanish, depending on the subject) and the so-called auxiliary sciences (literature, epigraphy and numismatics) to be key success factors for any kind of advanced research.