Alexis Lapointe

Study program:
Ph.D. Philosophy
Current affiliation:
University of Montreal - Université de Paris X, Nanterre

Alexis examines collective memory and how it pertains to democracy, and how it can be used to reconcile internal civil conflicts.

Democracy and the Politics of Memory

The aim of this project is to develop a normative and institutional theory of public history practices. Drawing on neo-republican theories of democracy, Mr. Lapointe will attempt, first, to shed light on the principles that ought to guide a proper use of history. Mr. Lapointe will then propose reforms of existing institutions, with particular emphasis on two types of circumstances: the circumstances of political reconciliation that follow fratricidal civil conflicts, and the ordinary circumstances of building public history, in which phenomena such as commemorative ceremonies and toponymy play a part.

Alexis is completing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the Université de Montréal and the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre - La Défense while pursuing in medical school (M.D. program) at the same university. His research in political philosophy focused on memory policies, the public use of history and commemorations in contemporary societies. In terms of medicine, he is interested in neurodegenerative disorders and the ethical issues surrounding aging. Alexis has also worked on the history of modern political thought and the epistemology of the social sciences. He and Christian Nadeau co-directed the publication of La Philosophie de l'histoire. Hommages offerts à Maurice Lagueux (Ste-Foy, PUL, 2007).

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

My experience as a Trudeau Scholar was intense, both academically and personally. The community of scholars, fellows and mentors is extremely dynamic, diverse and deeply committed to examining current social, political and environmental problems. I came away from every meeting filled with new ideas, increased enthusiasm and an ever-stronger conviction that, far from being innocuous nothings, ideas are a powerful and necessary means for social transformation. I am very grateful to the Trudeau Foundation staff for their unconditional support throughout my doctoral years.