Fonds P0291 - Maïr Verthuy fonds

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Maïr Verthuy fonds

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  • ca. 1965-2021 (Creation)
    Verthuy, Maïr

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Physical description

1.70 m of textual records (approx. 5 boxes)
42 col. and b&w photographs
1 Optical Disc : DVD

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Biographical history

Maïr Verthuy started her teaching career at Concordia University as a Sessional Lecturer in French at Sir George Williams University in 1966, becoming Assistant Professor in 1969. After the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University in 1974, she worked with other feminist scholars on the establishment of a college dedicated to Women’s Studies. She became the first principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at its opening in 1978. Verthuy remained an Associate Professor at the department of Études françaises until being granted the rank of Professor in 1992. She would be getting the title of Distinguished Professor Emerita, in 2004 after announcing her retirement in 2003. She’s the author of many books and articles and presented at many colloquia around the world. Her domains of expertise are women’s rights and French literature.

  • Maïr Verthuy chaired Concordia’s Arts Faculty Council Committee on Experimentation and Innovation in Higher Education (or AFC Education Committee) in 1974.
  • Verthuy was a Democratic Alliance candidate in the St. Louis riding during the Quebec general election of 1976 (becoming Maïr Williams-Verthuy for the occasion as women running at the time had to use their maiden name tacked to their married names).
  • In 1978, Verthuy launched Les Cahiers de la femme/Canadian Women’s Studies of which she was an editor.
  • Verthuy gave the opening remarks at the Terre des Femmes ’79, a meeting of women’s groups from the Island of Montreal organized by the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Loyola’s Campus Centre in March 1979.
  • On May 4, 1979, Maïr Verthuy was honoured at Salon de la femme for her extraordinary contribution to the status of Women in the province of Quebec especially in the field of education.
  • Maïr Verthuy was the chief organizer of the International Conference on Research and Teaching Related to Women, sponsored by the Simone the Beauvoir Institute and held July 26 to August 4, 1982. The conference attracted 342 participants from 82 different countries.
  • Maïr Verthuy received the John O’Brien Tenth Anniversary Distinguished Teaching Award in 1985.
  • A Maïr Verthuy Scholarship was established in 1986. Its first recipient was Kathy Silver.
  • Verthuy was one of the founders of the Centre de recherche et d’enseignement sur la francophonie et les femmes (CREFF) in 1988. Among other things, the centre aimed at promoting local research on women in francophone countries.
  • In September 1995, she represented Canada at the United Nations World Conference on Women held in Beijing.
  • The YMCA selected Verthuy as the recipient for the 1997 Women of Distinction Award for the Advancement of Women.
  • The three-day conference Les Femmes de lettres et le français hors frontière held at Concordia in May 15 to 17, 1998 was held in honour of Maïr Verthuy.
  • On the recommendation of Quebec’s Minister of Education, Verthuy was made Chevalière, Ordre des Palmes Académiques by decree of the prime minister of France in recognition of her long commitment to teaching and research in French language and culture in 2002.
  • Verthuy was granted a Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case on November 7, 2008.
  • She was named to the Order of Canada by the Governor General in 2012.
  • Verthuy was the subject of the 2014 movie Autour de Maïr, directed by Hejer Charf.
  • She was inducted in the Ordre national du Québec, becoming a Chevalière in 2019.

Custodial history

The material was donated by Maïr Verthuy in March 2023 and in April 2024.

Scope and content

The fonds provides information on Maïr Verthuy's PROFESSIONAL LIFE as a teacher in the department of Études françaises and a writer of articles on feminism, French literature and female migrant authors.

The TEACHING subseries contains records related to the courses Verthuy taught at Concordia University in the department of Études Françaises as well as at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute she founded in 1978 and that she directed from its inception to 1983. The records includes course outlines, bibliographies, some promotional material and correspondence. 'Littérature et francophonie', 'Huit siècles de poésie féminine', 'Le Romantisme', 'La littérature françaises au féminin' and more are all themes Verthuy taught.

The WRITINGS subseries includes records on the many articles and book reviews that Verthuy wrote from the mid-1960's to 2016 such 'Quebec Feminist Writing/Les écrits feminists au Québec' with Jeanne Maranda in 1977, 'Manifeste pour un ‘Gynocentrisme’ universitaire' in 1986, 'Flirting with Female Be-ing: the Uneasy Search of Hélène Ouvrard' in 1987, 'Hélène Parmelin and the Question of Time, Taking our Time: Feminist Perspectives on Temporality' in 1989, 'Les romancières immigrées et la politique ‘autre’ : Véra Pollak et Régine Robin' in 1995, 'Assia Djebar : le regard dé-voilé' in 1997, 'L’autobiographie de la migrance au Québec : Régine Robin et Nadine Ltaïf' in 2001, to only name a few. The records consist of drafts of manuscrits, photocopies of articles as well as some correspondence.

The CONFERENCES, SEMINARS, TALKS subseries is comprised of records related to the many presentations Verthuy made at different conferences and colloquia in Canada, in the United States and in Europe, most notably 'Virgile, non, Manastabal, si!' presented at the Congrès Société internationale de phénoménologie et de littérature in 1986, 'Hélène Parmelin ou la peinture faite roman' at the Association des professeurs de français des universités et collèges canadiens (APFUCC) in Victoria in 1990, 'L’hétérogénéité culturelle dans l’écriture féminine' at the Colloque du Centre de coopération interuniversitaire franco-québécoise held in Paris in 1991, 'Jeanne Hyvrard, d’un-e innommé-e l’autre' at the Colloque Le Littéraire et le sacré of the Département d’Études françaises at Concordia University in 1991, 'La Peinture au service du polar' at the Colloque Le roman français de la dernière décennie held Dalhousie University, Halifax in 1998. Maïr Verthuy was instrumental in the organization of the International Conference on Research and Teaching Related to Women held at Concordia University in the Summer of 1982. The files from the subseries include texts and drafts of texts of the presentations, some programs of the conferences and correspondence.

The DISTINCTIONS subseries provides information on the many prizes and awards Verthuy have received throughout her career: Personalité féminine de l'année at the Salon de la Femme in 1979, the John O'Brien Distinguished Teaching Award in 1985, the YWCA's Women of Distinction Awards in 1997, the Prix du Gouverneur-Général du Québec in 2008, the Order of Canada in 2012 and the Ordre national du Québec in 2019.

The COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT subseries is comprised of records related to Verthuy's involvement with different organizations outside of Concordia University between 1987 and 2010: the Conseil de la magistrature, the Montreal Council of Women (MCM) and the Commission de consultation sur les pratiques d'accomodements reliés aux différences culturelles, among others.

The RESEARCH AND REFERENCE DOCUMENTATION subseries includes publications, notes, photocopies of articles on different subjects related to Verthuy's expertise, most notably authors Assia Djebar, Hélène Parmelin, poet Louis Aragon and of course Simone de Beauvoir. The subseries is also contains reference documentation on Jeanne Hyvrard as well as correspondence held with the writer between 1982 and 2019.

The fonds also includes some MEDIA COVERAGE: articles about Verthuy, reviews of some of her publications, as well as some records related to the 2015 documentary 'Autour de Maïr'. Records pertaining to her PRIVATE LIFE can also be found in the fonds: some correspondence and files related to her education (class notes).

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  • English
  • French

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