The primary purpose of this course is to bridge gaps between social, cultural and political history, by studying public life. It will address the history of institutions, to the changing composition, practices and beliefs of the governing elites, of the "governed", and of the various agents acting as intermediaries. It will study Canada in a comparative perspective. It will also pay a special attention to international dimensions of Canadian public life.
It offers a historiographical discussion of the uses of concepts as such authority, hegemony, consent and legitimacy, social control and resistance, regulation, ideology, action, state formation, language, citizenship, identity and civil society.
In the autumn, the seminars will center on Canadian problems, and readings will include literature from other countries, to introduce theoretical approaches and to understand the specific nature of Canadian institutions. In the winter, this knowledge will be used to write a research paper using the collections of government archives of Ottawa. The seminars will then provide workshops around the various steps in the writing of the papers.