Gérard Bouchard, a historian and sociologist, was among the first members of CIFAR’s Successful Societies program.
Most of his current research deals with issues related to politics of memory, the future of national cultures and identities, the social functions of myths, the management of ethnocultural diversity, and, more generally, the structure and functioning of collective imaginaries as informed by myths. He and Charles Taylor wrote the landmark 2008 Bouchard-Taylor report about reasonable accommodation of Quebec’s ethnic and religious minorities. Bouchard is also the founder of the BALSAC project, created in 1971 with the goal of developing and exploiting a computerized population database covering the whole population of Quebec from the 17th century to the present time, including population genetics and epidemiology information.
In the 1990s, Bouchard initiated a new research program in the comparative history of new societies (or founding cultures). The objective was to study the formation of national identities and cultures in the New World (Americas, Australasia and some parts of Africa). Some of the issues under investigation: national myths, political emancipation, collective differentiation from the European mother countries, the growth of the state and of the national idea, the formation of collective imaginaries (identity, memory, utopia), and the evolution of the relationship with the Natives, and other themes.
French Legion of Honour, 2002
Canada Research Chair in Collective Imaginaries, 2002
Gérard-Parizeau Prize for Québec History, 2001
Governor General’s Literary Award for French Non-Fiction, 2000
Sir John A. MacDonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association, 1996
Bouchard, G. Raison et déraison du mythe: Au cœur des imaginaires collectifs. Montreal: Boréal, 2014.
Bouchard, G. "Pour une nouvelle sociologie des mythes sociaux: un repérage préliminaire." European Journal of Social Sciences 51, no. 1 (2013): 95–120.
Bouchard, G. “What is Interculturalism?” McGill Law Journal/Revue de droit de McGill 56, no. 2 (2011): 435–68.
Bouchard, G. The Making of the Nations and Cultures of the New World: An Essay in Comparative History. Translated by Michelle Weinroth and Paul Leduc Browne. Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 2008.
Bouchard, G. “L’imaginaire de la Grande Noirceur.” Recherches sociographiques XLVI, no. 3 (2005): 411–36.