This issue ofLabour/LeTravail focuses on Quebec. From its inaugural number the journal was committed to being a bilingual publication, and that first slim 1976 issue contained two French articles, one by Jacques Rouillard, who has helped to anchor connections and working relations between francophone and anglophone scholars of labour studies for more than three decades. It has never been easy to be a bilingual publication, and llt has struggled, over the years, with getting essential things right. We have made errors -- including in basic areas of translation -- and, in spite of our best intentions, will undoubtedly experience some hiccups in the future. Yet we have continued to publish all manner of French material and remain as dedicated as ever to the project of a bilingual journal, one in which the reciprocities as well as the differences of Canadian and Quebec working-class experience, along linguistic, cultural, and political lines, can continue to be explored.
It is with some sense of gratification, then, that we present llt 70, with its important gathering together of research and commentary on subjects relating to Quebec. Peter C. Bishoff offers a long-overdue reconsideration of the Knights of Labor in Quebec, and his article will, we expect, remain the classic statement on this important late nineteenth-century organization, and the particularities of its development in French Canada, for some time. If Bischoff provides a fresh look at a subject long known to have been important, Jean-Philip Mathieu explores a previously-overlooked 1878 strike of labourers on public works projects. A transformative and much-commented on event in Quebec’s labour history, as well as its modern development, the Asbestos strike, is looked at through an environmental and occupational health and safety lens in Jessica van Horssen’s new interpretation of the iconic 1949 class conflict. Van Horssen stresses the importance of community concerns in her analysis, as do Roderick MacLeod and Mary Anne Poutanen, in their discussion of a strike-like protest of Jewish students, outraged by a teacher’s anti-Semitic remarks, at Montreal’s Aberdeen School in 1913. Finally, this issue also contains a commemoration of the life of Madeleine Parent, whose death in 2012 saddened countless labour and social movement activists, but also provided an opportunity to reflect on the indelible impact of this indefatigable woman.
As this number of llt affirms old commitments to a bilingual journal that addresses the breadth of labouring people’s experience in Canada and Quebec, it also initiates a new section, ‘From Other Shores/Des Nouvelles Venues d’Ailleurs’. While the journal will, of course, remain primarily [End Page 9] pan-Canadian, it has always considered it a part of its purpose to keep those interested in Canadian labour studies abreast of new developments in interpretation and understanding of the working class, broadly conceived, that may be developing in other national settings. To this end, ‘From Other Shores/Des Nouvelles Venues d’Ailleurs’ will provide space for the occasional publication of articles that are not explicitly Canadian in focus, but that do address ways of looking at and approaching workers and their multi-faceted lives, especially if the approach elaborated might well encourage productive rethinking of conventional wisdoms. We are delighted to be publishing Alan Wald’s stimulating discussion of the seemingly oxymoronic ‘Bohemian Bolsheviks’ at the point that the third volume of his trilogy, American Night: The Literary Left in the Era of the Cold War, has just appeared.
With the publication of llt 70, then, we hope to defend and continue old positions, as well as extending and developing new ones. Please help us along this path by sending us submissions for publication, continuing to subscribe to and support the journal, and promoting it among your friends, colleagues, students, and co-workers.
Ce numéro deLabour/LeTravail est consacré au Québec. Depuis sa première parution, la revue s’est engagée à être une publication bilingue, et le mince premier numéro publié en 1976 renfermait deux articles en français, dont l’un rédigé par Jacques Rouillard qui...