Sharing Waters: The Challenge of Understanding the Other
Western Michigan University
University of Ottawa
On September 14 and 15, 2006, the Canadian Studies Program at Western
Michigan University hosted a symposium on the Great Lakes Environment
with the inviting title of "Shared Waters."1 This event presented an outÂ
standing opportunity to bring to the attention of US scholars the work of
many colleagues working on issues related to the St. Lawrence River. To
further this discussion, Sylvie Paquerot, now at University of Ottawa, and
Vincent Desroches of Western Michigan University invited another set of
scholars to propose the articles constituting this dossier, which presents the
St. Lawrence River in relation to the Great Lakes environment from a variÂ
ety of scholarly perspectives and draws on experts from six QuÃ©bec uniÂ
versities. Amy Lovecraft, Frederic Lasserre, and Alexandre Brun also
contributed in many ways to the preparation of the dossier. We are proud
to offer this contribution to the debate.
One of the long-standing obstacles for the circulation of knowledge beÂ
tween QuÃ©bec, Canada, and United States has been the language barrier.
Scholarly work published in English is widely read in QuÃ©bec, but articles
and books written in French do not usually influence the field in the United
States. Articles in this issue are in both languages and we have included
abstracts in translation to help the reader identify pertinent information.
The language barrier or the separate institutional networks may exÂ
plain why the research on the Great Lakes too often neglects to integrate the
St. Lawrence in a more global perspective. We felt the need to address US
scholars directly in order to provide a forum for distinct voices too often unÂ
heard and to suggest new, creative ways to advance solutions, to engage
political bodies at local, national, and international levels, to compare legÂ
islative initiatives, and so forth.
QuÃ©bec Studies, en tant que revue scientifique, publie des articles sur
tous les sujets concernant les Ã©tudes quÃ©bÃ©coises. La part du lion, bien sÃ»r,
revient frÃ©quemment Ã des articles portant sur la littÃ©rature et la culture, ce
qui reflÃ¨te assez fidÃ¨lement la composition des membres de Î“ American
Council for QuÃ©bec Studies. Les quÃ©bÃ©cistes Ã©tatsuniens se retrouvent en
effet souvent dans des dÃ©partements de franÃ§ais ou de langues Ã©trangÃ¨res.
La situation inverse semble s'observer chez les canadianistes, comme le rÃ©Â
QuÃ©bec Studies, Volume 42, Fall 2006/Winter 2007