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Realities of Canadian Democracy/Réalités de la démocratie canadienne

Organised by our two Wilson Assistant Professors, Julien Mauduit and Jennifer Tunnicliffe, this next workshop seeks to understand Canadian democracy: how, when and even if Canada can be considered a ‘democracy.’ This workshop will take place on 2-3 May 2019. Refer to our call for paper, posted below in French and English, for more detailed information. As is the case with our Wilson workshops, we will provide financial assistance to our panelists and pay for travel expenses and hotel accommodations. More importantly, the goal of every workshop is the creation of an edited volume on the topic. As such, every paper will be considered for a volume with our series at McGill-Queen’s University Press, with a select number chosen for the final version.


Workshop Programme

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 (pre-workshop talk)

7:00 PM: Dr. Nancy McLean(Duke University) – “Enchaining Democracy: The Now-Transnational Project of the Radical Libertarian Right” – part of the Wilson Speaker Series, Democracy, Citizenship and Freedom– located in L.R. Wilson Hall, Concert Hall


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Breakfast at Hotel

All Panels in McMaster University, L.R. Wilson Hall, LRW 2001

9:30 AM: Opening Remarks and Registration

9:45 AM: Panel 1 – Definitional and Theoretical Challenges

  • Dennis Pilon – Associate Professor, Department of Politics, York University. “Canadian Democracy and Critical Democratization Studies”
  • Francis Dupuis-Déri – Professor, Political Science, Université du Québec à Montréal. “ Histoire du mot «démocratie» au Canada et au Québec. Analyse politique des stratégies rhétoriques”

10:45 AM: Break

11:00 AM: Panel 2–Colonialism and Democracy

  • Denys Delâge – Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Laval University. “Démocratie et Premières-Nations”
  • Angela Tozer – PhD Candidate, History and Classical Studies, McGill University. “Democracy in a Settler State?: The convergence of settler colonialism and responsible government, 1830-1867”
  • Xavier Bériault –Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, McGill University.“Power and Resistance in Acadia: The Acadian System of Deputies”
  • Tarah Brookfield – Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University. “Partisan Follies and Rogue Widows: Shrinking Democracy in Colonial Canada”

12:30 PM — Catered Lunch (at LRW 2802) 

1:30 PM: Panel 3 –Tensions in the Early Building of Canadian Democracy

  • Elsbeth Heaman – Professor, History and Classical Studies, McGill University. “Conceptualizing Democratic Conservatism in 1850s Canada”
  • Colin Grittner – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, University of New Brunswick. “A ‘Tendency Towards Mobocracy’: The Democratic Realities of Nineteenth-Century British North America”
  • Dan Horner – Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology, Ryerson University. “Re-Visiting the Rebellion Losses Crisis of 1849 in an Age of Imperilled Democracy”

3:00 PM: Break

3:15 PM: Panel 4 – Private and/or Corporate Influences on Democracy

  • Albert Schauwers – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, York University. “‘A terrible engine in the hands of the provincial administration’: Corporate Governmentality and the Struggle for Democracy in Rebellion-era Upper Canada”
  • Jeffrey McNairn – Associate Professor, Department of History, Queen’s University. “The Corporate Origins of Canadian Democracy”
  • Will Langford – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, Dalhousie University.“‘Will Freedom Survive?’: Reconstruction, ‘Responsible Enterprise,’ and the Stirring of a New Right in Canada, 1942-1949” 

5:00 PM – 6:00 PMWine and Cheese and Wilson Book Series Book Launch (LRW 2802)

6:45 PM: Dinner for workshop participants and organizers


Friday, May 2, 2019

Breakfast at Hotel

All Panels in McMaster University, L.R. Wilson Hall, LRW 2001

9:30 AM: Panel 5Rights Activism and Canadian Democracy

  • Ruth Frager – Associate Professor, Department of History, McMaster University; Carmela Patrias – Professor, Department of History, Brock University. “Whose Democracy?: Antiracist Activists, Women’s Rights Activists, and the Ontario Human Rights Code”
  • Leonard Halladay – PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Carleton. “In Search of Recognition: An Analysis of the Queer Rights Discourse in Canada”

10:45 AM: Break 

11:00 AM: Panel 6Alternate Views of Democracy in the 20thCentury

  • Mackenzie Gillies,– Lecturer, McMaster University. “‘From absolute king to sovereign people’: Defining democracy in the Grain Growers’ Guide, 1908-1920”
  • Ian McKay – Professor, Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University.“The Real World of Democracy? C.B. Macpherson’s Critique of the Cold War Reification of ‘Liberal Democracy,’ 1965-68”
  • Josh Cole – Independent Scholar, Theory and History of Education International Research Group. “Canadian Adult Education and Radical Democracy in the Age of Reconstruction”

12:30 PM — Catered Lunch (at LRW 2802) 

 1:30 PM: Closing Panel –New Directions and Approaches

  • Shirley Tillotson – Professor, Department of History, Dalhousie University. “Democratic Culture: 1920 – 1970”
  • Henry Yu – Associate Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia.“Who Fixed Democracy’s Deprivations? Moving Beyond Indefensible Pasts”
  • David Tough – Postdoctoral Fellow, Trent Community Research Centre, Trent University.“Fin-de-Siècle Democracy: A ‘New Political History’ of Disillusionment and the Political Present in Canada”

3:00 PM: Closing Remarks