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Talk: Joual in Canadian Translational Spaces in Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-soeurs
Date: 20 October 2011 

School of Modern Languages and Cultures has the pleasure of inviting you to the following talk:

Câlice de tabarnak!
Joual in Canadian Translational Spaces in Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-soeurs

Bennett Yu-Hsiang Fu
National Taiwan University

Date: 20 Oct 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Venue : Knowles 216
Language: English
Moderator: Sylvain Holtermann

This presentation looks at Québécois playwright Michel Tremblay’s play Les Belles-soeurs (1965) by seeking a focus on the use of joual in crisscrossing contiguity in the linguistic interface between Canadian Anglophone and Francophone languages and cultures. Les Belles-soeurs sparked unprecedented debate in its theatrical premier in 1968, when many Montréalers were shocked by Tremblay’s use of joual, combining anglicisms and barely assimilated English words with obscenities and picturesque blasphemes. A language associated with the Francophone working class in Montréal, joual has become a symbol of national identity for a large number of Québécois artists; the usage of joual expresses the alienation, lack of identity, inability to communicate and tragic impotence of Quebec society.  The play presents the translational and transcultural spaces in Montréal as an implicit corollary of linguistic interventions and as a complex web of historical, material warring forces. Trembley’s play responds directly to the ongoing socio-political debates in Canada and the bicultural tensions in Montréal/Quebec that, in turn, have opened up a multicultural space in today’s Canadian society.

About the Speaker:
Bennett Yu-Hsiang Fu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, where he teaches Canadian Literature, Asian North American Studies, and Contemporary American Literature. He has published articles in such areas as ethnicity, cultural translation, indigeneity, and postcolonial studies. His forthcoming book entitled "Transgressive Transcripts: Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Canadian Women’s Writing" will be published by Rodopi Press (Amsterdam/New York) in 2012.

This talk is co-organised by the School of Chinese and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

All are welcome

Information : Dr D.C. Meyer ( / Mr Sylvain Holtermann (

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