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June 6, 2002 Concordia's fledgling sociologists hit the shelves


by James Martin

Stories from Montreal 2: Ethnographic Accounts of Life in North America’s Francophone Metropolis collects 14 papers originally written for the ANTH-315 Field Research course during the 2000-2001 academic year. The contributing researchers immersed themselves in a wide range of Montreal topics, from the sexual politics of local Wiccans to Jewish Holocaust survivors, to the city’s “drag king” scene.

Former Concordia professor Dr. Louise Gauthier founded the series as a way to offer undergraduate sociology and cultural anthropology researchers a much-needed outlet in which to share their work. Upon learning that Gauthier was leaving Concordia following the first volume’s publication, two of her students asked permission to keep the nascent series alive.

“It’s pretty frightening the first time you go out to interview people,” said Karoline Truchon, who edited the book with Crystal Léger and Tammy Saxton, Gauthier’s TA and co-editor of the first volume.

Truchon believes the project is crucial because it offers rare inspiration for other undergrads. “You don’t want to compare yourself to some world-renowned researcher who’s been doing fieldwork for decades, so it’s reassuring to read the work of people who are at your level.”

“It’s one thing to write a paper for a class,” she addeds, “but it’s another thing to prepare a paper for publication in a book. All the authors in Stories in Montreal 2 went through at least five revisions of their texts. To go through that process at the undergraduate level really prepares you for graduate school and other work later on.” Truchon is currently finishing her first year of MA studies.

Plans are underway for a third volume, to feature writings culled from Dr. Nadia Ferrara and Dr. Bart Simon’s 2001-2002 ANTH-315 classes. Stories from Montreal 2 is available at the Concordia bookstore, as well as the Chapters and Indigo stores on Ste. Catherine. For more information, e-mail the editors at storiesfrommontreal2@hotmail.com.