Quebec Studies

Introduction

Quebec Studies (2015), 59, (1), 3–8.

Abstract

Introduction Bill Marshall and Gill Rye University of Stirling Gill Rye University of London Introduction This collection of articles started life as papers presented at the “Women’s Writing and Filmmaking in Québec” conference, held on 17–18 May 2013, a collaboration between the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing and the Centre for Québec and French-Canadian Studies, at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, UK. As part of la littérature québécoise, contemporary Québécois women’s writing in French can be situated in relationship with various other literary constellations. Literary histories commonly define Québec literature itself as existing in “une situation doublement marginale” (Biron et al. 627), that is, in relation to French literature and North American literature in English, from both of which it strives to distinguish itself. Writing by women in Québec exists within a nexus of power relations that, far from merely supplementing the continuing configurations of Québec identity marked by notions of center and periphery, major and minor, east-west, north-south, transatlantic and continental, profoundly defines and informs them.1 The rapid rise of women’s writing in both France and Québec in the wake of second-wave feminism of the 1970s did not necessarily bear out that flow of influence, however. Rosemary Chapman (17) points to the liberatory models of French feminism which influenced Québec écrivaines in that decade but, as Karen Gould (xv) states, Québec feminist writing since the 1970s has actually been a “crossfertilization” of Québécois, French, and American perspectives in relation to “the dynamics of sexual politics, the social construction Québec Studies, 59 doi:10.3828/qs.2015.2

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