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Expert in: Mysticism

DESLANDRES, Dominique

Professeure titulaire

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.

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