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Expert in: Environment

Dagenais, Michèle

DAGENAIS, Michèle

Professeure titulaire

Cities are my main research topic. I study them through the history of their concrete and symbolic formation. I am interested in showing that the efforts involved in the physical organization of cities shape the way they are governed and help structure social and political relationships at this level. This way of seeing the history of cities as a product of interrelated physical and social factors has led to published papers on the development of public spaces for culture and recreation in Montreal and Toronto in the 19th and 20th centuries, and on the structuring of the municipal domain through drinking water and wastewater networks. I recently published a paper on evolving relationships between Montreal and water, in an attempt to reconstitute the role of water and its successive transformations in the city's urbanization process since the early 19th century. Since then I have been pursuing my work on the history of the environment at the larger scale of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence hydrographic system.

I am also interested in issues relating to the writing and public uses of history in theoretical and practical terms. I have taken part in various debates and roundtables on the teaching of history. I also sometimes collaborate on mounting exhibitions and producing historical documents for various audiences.

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