By McGill Reporter Staff
Given the current buzz of back-to-class excitement, it’s easy to forget that May can be rather quiet at McGill. Exams are over, convocation has yet to begin.
Next May is going to be a much different story.
From May 8 to 12, 2017, McGill will play the proud host to the 85th Congrès annuel de l’Association francophone pour le savoir – popularly known as simply Acfas. During those five days, an estimated 6,000 delegates will come to the downtown campus for what is the world’s largest French-language interdisciplinary conference. The organizers anticipate that professors and graduate students from some 40 countries will present their work at more than 200 colloquia. The conference is also expected to attract upwards of 60 journalists.
Acfas recently issued its calls to professors and postdocs for colloquia proposals (deadline November 1) and to graduate and postdoctoral students for papers and posters (deadline Nov. 28). More details can also be found on the conference website. To encourage grad student and postdoc participation, McGill will cover the cost of registration, including Acfas membership, for students presenting at the conference; details are here.
The conference changes location each year, rotating through host institutions across the province. (Last year’s conference was held at UQAM.) The 2017 conference will mark the third time McGill has hosted the Acfas conference; the event was here in 2006 and 1996.
The conference co-chairs are Dr. Rosie Goldstein, Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) and Antonia Maioni, Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Professors Céline Le Bourdais (sociology) and Michel Tremblay (biochemistry) are co-chairing the scientific committee.
“This is a great opportunity to highlight McGill’s bilingual atmosphere and culture, which are less known in the global arena,” says Goldstein. “It’s also a very good opportunity for our students and faculty to participate, in French, in an international congress without having to travel. It doesn’t matter what your area is, because the Acfas conference is everything: humanities, social science, science, education, interdisciplinary…. Last year, 88 McGill faculty and students participated, and next year we hope it will be even more.”
Acfas was founded in 1923 to promote knowledge creation and exchange, in French, among researchers within the Francophonie. There are approximately 5,000 Quebec researchers, representing all domains, in the association.
The theme of the 2017 Acfas conference is “Vers de nouveaux sommets,” and the event will highlight cutting-edge research, while also celebrating a rich legacy of past discoveries.
“Between Acfas and the Montreal 375 and Canada 150 celebrations, 2017 is going to be a big year at McGill,” says Antonia Maioni. “It’s exciting that the University will be celebrating all these different communities and vibrant histories that we are so proud to be part of.”
An event of this scope will require many hands. A call for volunteers will go out to the McGill community early in the new year.