Shannon Lecture #2: The Postwar Human Rights Movement in Quebec and Catholic Workers: Between Universality and Identity with Dr. Paul-Étienne Rainville of the University of Toronto

October 2, 2020 at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Cost:Free
Audience:Anyone

Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

headshot of Paul-Etienne Rainville

The Postwar Human Rights Movement in Quebec and Catholic Workers: Between Universality and Identity

with Dr. Paul-Étienne Rainville
Department of History
University of Toronto

Abstract

Paul-Etienne’s presentation explores the role played by the Canadian Confederation of Catholic Workers of Canada in the postwar human rights movement in Quebec. Inspired by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Catholic labour activists undertook a leading role in adapting human rights norms to serve social, liberal and democratic protests of that period. However, their ambivalence in engaging in the movement for racial and religious equality underscores their desire to preserve the distinctiveness of faith/nation-based unionism, as well as the deep influence of the interconnected debates about race, religion, language, nation, and French Canadians’ collective rights in postwar Quebec. Theoretically, this case study highlights the universalism-particularism and the global-local dialectics that were both at work in the internationalisation of human rights norms and discourses.

Speaker Bio

Paul-Etienne’s research focuses on the history of human rights struggles in Quebec, from the postwar years to the Quiet Revolution (1945-1968). As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, he is currently conducting research on the debates surrounding the adoption of the first anti-discrimination laws in Quebec in the early 1960s. His work has appeared in several journals (Canadian Historical Review, Social History, Droits et libertés, Nouvelles pratiques sociales), and has been recognized by prestigious prizes (Canadian Historical Association, Quebec National Assembly). He is currently member of the Montreal History Group and associated member of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal.

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