Soutien aux équipes 2009

Soutien aux équipes grants awarded to members of the Faculty of Arts in 2009.

All information in this section is courtesy of the researchers.

Isabelle Daunais, French Language and Literature
T.V. Paul, Political Science
Christine Ross, Art History and Communication Studies
Lisa Travis, Linguistics
Lydia White, Linguistics


image of isabelle daunais Isabelle Daunais
Le roman selon les romanciers : poétique du roman moderne (en fonctionnement)
Amount awarded: $349,323

For this project, Professor Daunais and her team, which includes Michel Biron and François Ricard from the Department of French Language and Literature and Allan Hepburn and Peter Sabor from the Department of English, will study the vast corpus of texts and commentaries that novelists have written on the novel since the 18th century. The double hypothesis that underlies their research is that 1. the novel is not just one narrative form among others but a way of knowledge in itself and a foundational reflection on modern western culture and 2. that the integrated study of reflection on a critical, theoretical and ethical order by novelists of the practice of the novel constitutes a privileged means of understanding the development and the issues of this art. The team's objectives are to contribute to the renewal of literary studies while considering the novel as a global and autonomous art form (rather than as a simple method of narrative or fiction) and also to create a research centre in Québec specifically devoted to the study of aesthetic and fictional thought combining the French, English and Québécois traditions. Their project includes two main axes of inquiry. The first is an interest in the "crises" of the novel (fights for its emergence, maturity crisis, speculations on its future, and attempts of the novel to escape its own labeling) and the idea that debates over the novel also contributed to its development. The second axis is an interest in the exchanges between the novel and other genres. In order to accomplish their aims, four complementary critical approaches will be summoned by the researchers: literary history, sociocritique, genre theory and poetics. Professor Daunais and her team will coordinate their work from these different critical perspectives while organizing inter-departmental and inter-university research seminars, open to all interested research assistants and students, as well as an international colloquium. Graduate students working with Professor Daunais and her team will be trained in bibliographic research and will participate in the organization of seminars as well as preparing research updates for the project website. Their research results will eventually be published in a collected work and a thematic anthology of texts uniting the three traditions.

Key words: roman, romanciers, esthétique, moderntié


image of tv paul T.V. Paul
La mondialisation et son incidence sur l'état de la sécurité régionale (en fonctionnement)
Amount awarded: $427,328

This research program, led by Professor Paul, brings together researchers from three Montreal universities (including Professors John Hall and Vincent Pouliot from McGill) who will examine the effects of globalization on the traditional security functions of the nation-state in different regions of the world. The first phase of the project (2000-2004) dealt with globalization and its impact on nation-states in a variety of areas, including security and political economy. An edited volume, The Nation-State in Question, was the main product of this phase. In the second phase (2004-2008) Professor Paul and his team studied the key areas in which the national security state has been affected by the ongoing process of globalization. The main output of this phase, a book manuscript entitled Globalization and the National Security State is currently under review. The third phase, beginning in April 2009, will explore the impact of globalization on security orders in different regions of the world. Professor Paul expects two books to come out of this phase: When Regions Transform: From Conflict to Cooperation, and Varieties of Regionalism. Also during this phase of the project, Professor Paul will organize two major conferences, to be held in the spring of 2010 and the spring of 2011. The first will be on regional security and transformation and the second on the concept of regionalism in the field of international security. Graduate students will be involved in editing of the conference publications. The results of the research will be used by team members for teaching purposes, targeting both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in their courses. All of the activities planned for the third cycle will include participation from civil servants, government officials or professionals working in policy milieus. Finally, Professor Paul and his team will make their research accessible through a website, available to scholars and professionals working in the field of international security, regional transformation and globalization.

Key words: globalization, regional security, the state, war, sovereignty, nationalism


Christine Ross
Art et nouveaux médias : vers une redéfinition hybride du lieu (en fonctionnement)
Amount awarded: $404,771

With this grant, Professor Ross and her research team, which includes Darin Barney, Amelia Jones and Jonathan Sterne from McGill as well as researchers from the Université de Montreal, Concordia and UQAM, will continue their interdisciplinary exploration of the spatial dimension of experimental media in recent contemporary art. The primary aim of the first stage of the project, entitled La réalité augmentée en art contemporain: perspectives interdisciplinaires (The Aesthetics of Augmented Reality), to the MIT Press, and a series of talks the following year that brought together the principle experts in the field. Developed around four axes, their research for the second stage of the project will examine how contemporary media in the areas of arts and communication transforms the modern notion of place: the (re)presentation, navigation, localization and territorialization. These axes are the parameters around which Professor Ross and her team will organize research subgroups made up of regular team members, collaborators and students. These subgroups will produce their own unique research results but will be constantly refined, revalued, and confirmed in light of the results generated by other subgroups related to the axes. The axes are mobilized by a common methodology that will begin with gathering and archiving data and continue with the development of a working practice in the field using in situ experiences of communication technologies, geo-localization and territorialization. The results of their research will be communicated through annual meetings, seminars, a website, conferences and publications. Graduate and postdoctoral students will play an active role in the research, as RAs, researchers, coordinators, speakers, authors and co-authors of upcoming publications.

Key words: navigation, localisation, arts médiatiques, art et technologies de communication, espace, lieu et représentation, territorialisation


image of lisa travis Lisa Travis
Les interfaces de la syntaxe (en émergence)
Amount awarded: $57,200

The study of language, Professor Travis notes, is necessarily interdisciplinary, since it is, at its basic level, a set of sound (or sign) meaning pairs. She points out that for many years within the generative paradigm, first identified by Noam Chomsky, where language representation was seen as a modular enterprise, syntactiticans concentrated on details of the appropriate representation of sentence structure, phonologists on the representation of the sound system of a language, and semanticists on representations of meaning. More recently, the focus of the generative paradigm has returned to the importance of the interfaces – phonology and semantics (sound and meaning). For the present research program, Professor Travis has assembled an interdisciplinary team that includes Professors Piggott, Schwarz and Shimoyama from McGill, who together cover the three relevant modules. The particular goal of their research is to closely examine technical issues that arise at the two interfaces in question when syntactic representations are interpreted by either the phonological component or the semantic component. The methodology used by the team will follow what Professor Travis describes as the norm within current theoretical linguistics. Native language speakers will be presented with constructions that test the hypotheses of the researcher and they will be asked to provide grammaticality judgments. The results will be tested over several sessions with the same speaker, and, when possible, several speakers will be given the same set of constructions. Professor Travis and her team will make their data available through a website allowing for verification from the general linguistic community. They will also make use of library resources in the form of descriptive reference grammars. Graduate students will be responsible for reviewing the published literature and doing web searches for new papers and abstracts. Given the cross-linguistic focus of the research, the students will also collect information from descriptive reference grammars and be trained to work with native speakers of 'exotic' languages when appropriate.

Key words: interfaces, syntax, semantics, phonology, mental representations


Lydia White

Lydia White
Effets de maturation sur l'acquisition et le traitement langagiers (en fonctionnement)
Amount awarded: $400,369

Professor White joins six other McGill researchers for this team grant, Fred Genesee, Heather Goad, Yuriko Oshima-Takane, Karsten Steinhauer, Elin Thordardottir and Michael Wagner. This research program adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, investigating the nature and extent of age effects in language acquisition. The focus is on how age differences affect linguistic representations, language development, processing and use. A number of inter-related projects are included, involving comparisons between monolingual and bilingual language learners of different ages, impaired and unimpaired language learners, early and late acquirers of second languages, and learners experiencing language loss at different ages. Parallel and complementary experiments on a variety of linguistic phenomena are conducted.