This project (led by Jonathan Livernois, Université Laval), aims to identify the permeability between the political discourse and the literary field during the Duplessis era. While there is a common understanding that the Union nationale frowned upon intellectuals and culture, it seems more important than ever to question this popular idea (see Harvey, 2014). The starting hypothesis of this research is that literary references were nevertheless reused by politicians as a means of acquiring cultural and symbolic capital, which with time became political capital. Through targeted text mining in the reconstructed transcripts of the National Assembly debates and in the archives of Le Devoir, among other sources, this study aims to trace the presence of literary discourse in political speeches and to understand its nature and scope.
This project is funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). It is conducted in collaboration with the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la littérature et la culture québécoises (CRILCQ) and with the Québec National Assembly Library.
See also: Politiciens et lettrés (Larose, 2018)