2021 Weaver-Tremblay Award - Francine Saillant, Laval University

A pioneer in numerous fields, Francine has conducted research that has had a major impact on the societies she has studied, on researchers in the social sciences and humanities, and on countless students. Her health research has led to several significant changes in the healthcare system, greater recognition of caregivers, the creation of a folk medicine database that is the only one of its kind in Canada, and the recognition in Quebec of certain complementary and alternative treatments. The impact of her books Cancer et culture, Accoucher autrement and Au cœur de la baleine, among others, cannot be overstated.

Francine’s work on humanitarianism and human rights has shed new light on societal concerns related to reparations. Her focus areas have included the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities, refugees, and people of African descent. Her book Le mouvement noir au Brésil 2000-2010 is the first comprehensive empirical study on the notion of reparations in connection with the consequences of slavery through the lens of the Black Movement of Brazil. In Quebec, her research has continued with the InterReconnaissances project, which addresses the memory bearers of the movement of community groups that have fought for social rights in Quebec and has resulted in the launch of a travelling exhibition.

Through her research, Francine has pushed back the boundaries of the discipline by developing the idea of a non-hegemonic anthropology, which gives expression to her epistemological and social concerns and is set out in her book The Lausanne Manifesto, among others. She also launched the first online dictionary of contemporary anthropology, Anthropen. Additionally, she has developed new distribution media in the form of a number of films, exhibitions and creative workshops that have in recent years led her to develop a new collaboration between art and anthropology, the artist, and the anthropologist that she is. Ever seeking to advance social justice and the recognition of difference, Francine is currently working on various projects that highlight artistic initiatives developed within community mental health settings, including with the Cervo Brain Research Centre, as well as with culturally diverse communities. The films Créateurs de liens and Apparaître, which she co-directed, are an outgrowth of these endeavors. Together with the CERVO Centre, she is currently collaborating on a project celebrating memory, art and scientific and de-stigmatization efforts in the mental health field.

Francine has always opted for a collaborative approach to her research, within her academic milieu, i.e., with colleagues and students, as well as with organizations and associations working on the front lines of the issues under study. She has also adopted a collaborative approach with artists who contribute a complementary sensitivity to understanding topical phenomena. Many of the accomplishments cited here have been collaborative initiatives.

We would also like to express our gratitude for all the service that she has done for CASCA. Not only have her contributions been invaluable to our society, but her mentorship has created an entire generation of anthropologists committed to CASCA and Canadian anthropology.


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