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Joseph Yvon Thériault

  • Fellow 2007
  • Alumni
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Founding Director
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities at the University of Ottawa

    Since 2008, Joseph Yvon Thériault has been a full Professor of Sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Globalization, Citizenship and Democracy. He was full Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Ottawa (1978-2008), where he held the Research Chair in Identity and Francophonie (2004-2008) and was the Founding Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Citizenship and Minorities (CIRCEM, 2000-2007).
     His research centres on the relationship between collective identities and democracy or citizenship. It is conducted from the perspective of the history of ideas and comparative analysis of small societies and national minorities, with particular emphasis on the context of Quebec, Acadian and Canadian francophone minority societies. He has published widely on these issues, most notably: La société civile ou la chimère insaisissable(1985); L'identité à l'épreuve de la modernité, a book for which he received the Prix France-Acadie (1996); Critique de l'américanité, mémoire et démocratie au Québec, which won the Prix Richard Arès and the Prix de la présidence de l'assemblée nationale du Québec 2003; and Faire société, société civile et espaces francophones (2007). He has directed several research groups, collective publications and specialized journals related to the issues at the focus of his research: citizenship, democracy, the welfare state, memory, the French-speaking world and collective identity.
     Joseph Yvon Thériault is a respected academic involved in both the university community and society at large. Over the years at the University of Ottawa he has served as director of the Department of Sociology, Associate Dean of Research, interim Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the U of O Press, and Chair of the Commission on Graduate Studies in the Humanities of the Graduate Faculty. He has played a key role in creating research networks to study both the Canadian and international French-speaking societies, as well as organizing research networks on small societies for the Association internationale des sociologies de langue française (AISLF). He chaired the Association canadienne des sociologues de langue française (ACSALF) and was vice-president (Americas) of the Biennale de la langue française and chair of the Biennale Amérique de la langue française. His many public addresses attract varied audiences, from international colloquia and universities to public policy planners and civil society activists. He regularly presents a feature on the program "Ouvert le samedi" on the Radio-Canada national radio network.
     He received his Ph.D. from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) in 1981 and his M.A. from the University of Ottawa in 1973. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004 and was nominated a Trudeau Fellow in 2007.