TWO SOLITUDES:
CULTURAL IDENTITY IN QUEBEC

For hundreds of years, francophone Canada has resisted cultural assimilation, and certain factions fight for Quebecois independence to this day. We’ll explore how language relates to cultural identity and evolves alongside it in this immersion into language, linguistics and Quebecois daily life.

Learning Objectives

Understand the history of French colonization in Canada, the history of Quebec, and why francophone communities have fought so hard for distinction.
Improve French language skills and note how the differences between French and Quebecois French are linked to history, culture and circumstance.
Explore the perceived lack of communication or will to communicate between anglophone and francophone Quebec that engendered the idea of “two solitudes”, whether this divide is still visible today, and how it is being complicated by increased diversity and multiculturalism.

Places and Activities

This program is flexible, and can be offered in 3, 5, or 7 day itineraries.

We begin in Quebec City, where French explorers established a permanent trading post in 1608. We learn about the indigenous groups of the region, the evolution of the French settlement, and how their culture became established.

We explore the links between language, history and culture with an interview project, scavenger hunts, visits to museums and local organizations, a cooking class, and observations of daily life.

We travel to Montreal and discover a more cosmopolitan city, learning how diversity can complicate language and cultural identity by engaging with art and local nonprofits.

We end our journey with final, immersive communicative challenge, designed by student groups to focus on the lens of inquiry they’ve found most eye-opening.

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