The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism
Call for Papers Deadline:
The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism: 40 years
ASSOCIATION FOR CANADIAN STUDIES
May 24th and May 25th, 2003
Call for papers
June 2003 will mark the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Co-chaired by A. Davidson Dunton and André Laurendeau, the Commission was appointed to "inquire into and report upon the state of bilingualism and biculturalism in Canada, and to recommend what steps should be taken to develop the Canadian Confederation on the basis of an equal partnership between the two founding races (later changed to 'peoples')." The Commission was created because, as noted in its preliminary report, Canada was facing its demise unless it satisfied the demands of the French Canadian population and it demonstrated, in a comprehensive study, that French Canadians were near the bottom rung and behind most major ethnic groups in Canada in terms of revenues. The Commission completed its work in 1970.
The RCBB (or 'B and B' Commission) has been described as an inevitable starting point for any discussion of language and cultural policy in Canada. The Commission ultimately contributed to the 1969 passage of the Official Languages Act and the legislation on multiculturalism, introduced in 1971.
Forty years later the findings in the four volumes of the Commission's final report and the many special studies conducted in connection with their work remain highly pertinent.
To mark this anniversary the Association for Canadian Studies will be holding an interdisciplinary conference looking at the evolution of the debate set out by the Commission in 1963. The conference will focus, in a contemporary and historical context, on the issues considered by the Commission in 1963, the political context of that era, the evolution of the concept of two founding peoples in Canada, the destruction of traditional French Canada, the emergence of new national identities, especially in Quebec, the exclusion of the First Nations and other groups, and the evolution over the last forty years of language policy, multiculturalism, demography and the contributions of Canada's ethnic communities. We also invite proposals on other themes, including language and the relationship between provincial and minority rights, the role of the state in linguistic and cultural affairs, language in the workplace, the teaching of French in schools in Quebec and in the rest of Canada, language planning overseas and bilingualism in the arts.
Please send submissions by February 15, 2003 to the ACS office:
209 Ste-Catherine St. E
P.O. Box 8888\
Stn. Centre-ville, Montreal
(Que) H3C 3P8
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