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Insights and new experiences in Canada

19 July 2016

View form Mount Royal, Montreal
View form Mount Royal, Montreal

Sara Orwig, a PhD student in the School of Welsh, has recently returned to Cardiff after spending six weeks at McGill University in Montreal.

The trip was funded by the International Council for Canadian Studies.

Sara received support from the French Language and Literature department as well as Professor Catherine Leclerc, an expert in literary multilingualism and literary translation in the French Department.

During her time in Canada Sara completed a number of interviews for her PhD. She travelled to Moncton, New Brunswick to meet with the authors France Daigle and Jean Babineau, and to Midland, Ontario to meet with the author Joëlle Roy.

Sara’s thesis centres on comparing code exchange in Welsh literature, French-Canadian literature and English literature. The trip was therefore an invaluable opportunity to meet with authors noted for their code switching and to take advantage of McGill’s library resources.

As well as McGill’s resources, Sara took the opportunity to visit Montreal’s Grande Bibliothèque which is part of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales de Québec. Sara also presented to postgraduate students in the French Language and Literature department and met with members of the Research Group - Belonging, Identity, Language, Diversity – Langage, Identité, Diversité, Appartenance (BILD-LIDA). Sara contributed a guest blog to the Group.

Sara said: “I’m grateful to the International Council for Canadian Studies, McGill University and Professor Leclerc for their support:

“I also appreciate that the authors I met with were willing to take the time to do so and contribute to my work. The interviews I conducted will help me to understand how and why authors choose to switch codes in their work.

“Outside of the interviews, I was fortunate to be able to spend time in areas that have inspired the authors’ novels and come to better understand the context they were drawn from. It was a wonderful experience to hear people switching code from French to English around me.”

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