SIS 490 A: The Ideological Distinctness of Québec in North America: Surveys, Authors, Institutions and History


Schedule Line Number: 04274 (Questions or problems registering? Call Student Services at (206) 543-6001.


Summer Quarter 2006


5 credits (B Term) – Art Building, Room 6


July 20-August 18, MTWThF 12-2:10 p.m.


Course Description: According to recent work by such authors as Michael Adams, Edward Grabb and James Curtis, Québec, Canada and America are ideologically different when it comes to religion, issues regarding the environment, the role of the State, immigration, feminism, marriage, etc. In fact, according to Grabb and Curtis, North America is divided in four ideological regions: the Southern U.S. (right), the Northern U.S. and Canada (center), and Québec (center-left). Michael Adams on his part goes as far as describing Québec as the first postmodern society of the world. This course will explore the different avenues by which some globalizing issues over the last 40 years have defined those differences.  It will examine the different interpretations (from Hartz to Lipset to George Grant and Charles Taylor in Canada and Gérard Bouchard in Québec) that have framed the fundamental differences between the U.S., Canada and Québec. 


This course will be based on lectures, guest lectures, group discussions based on weekly readings, and presentations of videos/movies when this will be relevant.  Students will be expected to attend all lectures, participate in class discussions, and write short critical syntheses based on readings and a substantial research paper of 15-20 pages.


Professor Information: Claude Couture is Professor of Social Sciences and Canadian Studies at the Faculté Saint-Jean (French Campus) of the University of Alberta in Canada, and was during the 2004-2005 academic year Fulbright Professor at the Canadian Studies Center of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of eight books including, L’Alberta et le multiculturalisme francophone, (Edmonton, CEC, 2002), Discours d'Étienne Parent (Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2000), Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Etienne Parent and Canadian Liberalism: Paddling with the Current (University of Alberta Press, 1998), Espace et différences. Histoire du Canada  (Presses de l'université Laval, 1996) and La banale trahison d’un laïc (Paris, L’Harmattan, 1996). He has also published extensively in academic journals and chapters in edited books. He is Director of the Canadian Studies Centre of the University of Alberta and, since May 2005, chief editor of the International Journal of Canadian Studies.


Required Reading: Regions Apart: The Four Societies of Canada and the United States by Edward Grabb and James Curtis, 2004 (available at the University Book Store)


This course is co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies and Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies with generous funding support from the Ministère des Relations internationales, Québec. For more information call (206) 221-6374 or contact Canadian Studies at