Nicole Nolette

Canada Research Chair in Minority Studies

Tier 2 - 2018-01-01
University of Waterloo
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

519-888-4567, poste 36850

Research involves

Understanding the impact of technology on French-language minority theatre and translation practices in Canada.

Research relevance

This research will lead to new insights into how linguistic minorities use technology to negotiate the tension between social prestige and cultural authenticity.

Putting the Spotlight on Technologies in Minority French-Canadian Stages

Since the 1960s, theatre has been a major creative force in the development of Canada’s official linguistic minorities. But in recent years, new stage technologies such as surtitles (translated lyrics or dialogue projected above a stage or on a screen) have allowed minority theatres to open their doors to spectators outside their traditional communities.

As Canada Research Chair in Minority Studies, Dr. Nicole Nolette is examining how these recent technological changes have influenced French-Canadian theatre and translation practices and how they’ve been portrayed within theatre productions. Her theory is that while the use of technologies by minorities is a sign of today’s more globalized market, it also allows them to better define themselves and close the gaps between prestige and authenticity, minority and majority, local and global.

Through fieldwork and archival research in Toronto’s French-language theatres, Nolette and her research team will observe the transition of paper- and performance-based modes of translation to multilingual, multimedia productions. They will also combine empirical research on minority theatre infrastructures across Canada with an in-depth look at how these theatres represent past, present and future societies. Nolette and her team will also compare other minority and majority practices across the country to better understand them in the context of the globalization of artistic practices.

Ultimately, Nolette seeks new insights into the minority condition—a condition that is increasingly common in contemporary societies and that touches on a series of important questions, such as the expression of individual and collective identities, national linguistic policies and globalization.