Daniel Laforest, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Dept



I am Professor of French & Cultural Studies. I received my PhD in literary Studies from l'Université du Québec à Montréal. After a two-year Fulbright postdoctoral stay at the Center for Cultural Studies of the University of California Santa Cruz, I joined the Department of Modern Languages & Cultural Studies of the University of Alberta in 2008. My teaching and research specializations are Quebec Studies, Canadian Studies (in French and English), health & medical humanities, philosophy & critical theory, the interrelations of cinema and literature, as well as urban and media cultures. To which I can add occasional forays into digital humanities for the purpose of art installations and field projects in photography and urban spaces, often with the participation of students. Those projects have led me to do two separate artist residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

In Fall 2014 I was awarded the Research Chair in Canadian Studies of the Université de Limoges in France where I was Visiting Professor. And in Winter/Spring 2015 I was Visiting Professor at the Center for Biomedical Ethics of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. I am member of the executive board of the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta; member of the editorial board of the series Nouvelles Études Québécoises at the Presses de l'Université de Montréal; and co-founder of the online academic publication Imagination: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies. I am also a regular contributor to two Montreal-based magazines of art, culture and philosophy -- Contre-jour: Cahiers Littéraires and Spirale. In 2011 my first book, L'archipel de Caïn: Pierre Perrault et l'écriture du territoire, received the Jean-Éthier Blais award for best essay on Quebec Studies. My second monograph, L'âge de plastique. Lire la ville contemporaine au Québec, was published in 2016 at Presses de l'Université de Montréal. 


I have recently completed a four-year SSHRC Insight funded research on the city and the suburbs in the literatures of Quebec and Canada. This research has led to several articles published in Canada, France, the US, and the UK. It found practical and aesthetic implementation in my digital crowd-sourced project Vertical Suburbia: Diagonals for a Straight World. And it is summed up in my second monograph, L'âge de plastique: lire la ville contemporaine au Québec (PUM 2016).

In Spring 2017, I was awarded a new SSHRC Insight Grant (2017-2022) for the research project The Biomedical Body and Everyday Life in Québec & Canada: A Literary Inquiry. The project is currently in full development with initial collaborations with the Arts & Humanities in Health & Medicine Program, and the Dept. of Art & Design at the University of Alberta. It has already led to the publication of a bilingual co-edited book collection (Writing the Biomedical Body) with Les Presses de l'Université de Limoges in 2016.        


DH 510 - Topics in Digital Theory and Culture

FREN 311 - Mystery, Myth, and Supernatural

Mythology, the supernatural, superstition as cultural and literary phenomena in the French-speaking world. Prerequisite: FREN 298.

MLCS 410 - Capstone Course

In this practice-based course that addresses an urgent concern facing the world today students will synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills obtained in the Modern Languages and Cultural Studies Major.

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