Symposium: Current challenges, opportunities and issues in French teaching at university

February 16, 2024

As part of Printemps de la francophonie à SFU and Multilingual Week, the Department of French and the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs have come together to organize a free public symposium on March 1st at Simon Fraser University's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. 

Under the direction of French department director Jorge Calderón, the symposium will explore current challenges, opportunities, and issues in French teaching at universities. The symposium will feature a keynote lecture by renowned scholar, Michel Dorais of Laval University.  


Today, we’re faced with new problems, very different social contexts and a student population that has come through the trauma of a pandemic. For these reasons, we want to explore how current research at university level can be better integrated into our pedagogical approaches. What pedagogical and curricular approaches and models should be rethought and even replaced to better meet the interests and needs of today’s generation of students? How can we better take into account in our teaching the plurality of gender, sexual, ethnic and racial identities - in short, the intersectionality of identities? How can we better adapt to the new realities of our students’ social and professional lives? Why are they in our classrooms? What are their plans, dreams and ambitions?


Why studies on sexual and gender diversity? 

The legitimacy and public utility of 2SLGBTQI+ studies and research are sometimes still questioned. However, they are part of a very rich history, which has gone through several distinctive stages, and they have responded to very specific needs since their very beginning. Professor Michel Dorais, a pioneer in this field in Quebec and in the French-speaking world for nearly 45 years, invites us to retrace these broad lines and then briefly identify the new challenges that are emerging.

Michel Dorais, Laval University

Michel Dorais, PhD, is a retired full/associate professor at the School of Social Work and Criminology at Laval University. His field of expertise is the sociology of gender and sexuality. He has published thirty works in French, some of which have been translated or are in the process of being translated. The most recent are: Antitoxic masculinity: what every caring man should know (Trécarré, 2023); Desire in memory (PUL, 2022); Guide to good sexual behavior for guys (Trécarré, 2021); Write and publish an essay (PUL, 2020); New Praise of Sexual Diversity (with Sophie Breton, VLB editor, 2019). Before becoming a professor-researcher, he worked as a social worker in youth protection then as a designer-trainer of training programs on sexual and gender diversity (National Institute of Public Health of Quebec). He now works as a prevention consultant for various community, school and government organizations.


  • Amélia Simard, FrancoQueer Committee of the West
  • Bruno Guindon, SFU Philosophy
  • Casey Edmunds, Francophone Society of Victoria
  • Charlotte Sabourin, Douglas College
  • Donald Fyson, Laval University
  • Gaëlle Planchenault, SFU French
  • Guillaume Girard, SFU French
  • Leslie Paris, UBC History
  • Livia Poljak, SFU French
  • Marie-Ève Foret, SocioPol
  • Martin Normand, Association of Colleges and Universities of the Canadian Francophonie
  • Mathilda Poulenay, UBC French, Hispanic and Italian Studies
  • Rémi Léger, SFU Political Science
  • Trevor O’Rourke, Vancouver Technical Secondary

Symposium: Current challenges, opportunities and issues in French teaching at university

  • March 1, 2024 (Friday)
  • 9:00 am - 5:30 pm 
  • Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, SFU Vancouver

Register Now