This issue is the fortieth published by QuÃ©bec Studies since its founding in
1983. Much has happened in QuÃ©bec over that period, and this journal has
sought to provide a forum of scholarship and discussion for those changes
in QuÃ©bec society. While part of the journal's mission is to contribute to reÂ
search on Quebec's past, something that is reflected in our articles on literÂ
ature, society, and history from New France to the RÃ©volution tranquille, we
have also made an effort to analyze cultural developments as they occur.
QuÃ©bec Studies has published numerous quality papers on contemporary
QuÃ©bec literature and cinema and has explored a variety of issues such as
constitutional policy, political realignments, education reform, urban develÂ
opment, energy policy, economics, health care, ethnicity, and demography.
Special dossiers have covered such topics as language and law, the October
Crisis, cultural pluralism, and the 1995 referendum, not to mention literary
topics such as Ã©criture migrante. We have periodically published special isÂ
sues, most recently on QuÃ©bec and postcolonialism. Our next special numÂ
ber will be devoted to Quebec's water policy, primarily concerning the St.
Lawrence and its relation to the Great Lakes basin.
QuÃ©bec Studies has also welcomed scholarship on North American
francophone culture outside QuÃ©bec. The fourth issue of the journal inÂ
cluded a special dossier on Antonine Maillet, and articles on francophone
literature from the Canadian west have appeared since (including one in
this issue). Conversely, we are not inattentive to anglophone QuÃ©bec literaÂ
ture, having published a dossier on writing in English in QuÃ©bec as well as
separate articles on Gail Scott. The past forty issues are a testament to the
vitality of the field and the energy and excitement it has generated.
In this issue, we feature a small dossier, organized by Marie Cusson, in
which the authors explore encounters with and within the city. Marie Cusson's essay shows how, in the stories of Delisle and Lalonde, Montreal is
represented as a lieu de rencontre with alterity. Estelle Dansereau focuses on
the status of middle-aged urban women in Claire Martin's short stories and
explores how the normalizing gaze of others functions to define them in
terms of their bodies. Pamela Sing analyzes how a QuÃ©bÃ©cois (Jacques Ferron), an anglophone Canadian writing in French (Nancy Huston), and a
Franco-Albertan (Paulette Blanchette-DubÃ©) write the city of Edmonton.
Urban issues emerge as well in Katharine Harrington's essay, which focuses
on RÃ©gine Robin's experience as a writer whose nomadism translates into a
form of writing that logically extends to her Web site.
Three articles offer fresh appraisals of significant issues in religious,
cultural, and intellectual history. Leslie Choquette examines the efforts to
convert Protestants and especially Amerindians in New France, showing
how Jesuits acquired the linguistic and cultural knowledge necessary to deÂ
vise successful conversion strategies, but were not averse to bribery on ocÂ
casion, and seemed content to accept outward conformity. Neal Baker
looks at the Marvel comics series Alpha Flight to examine the representation