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The Royal Society of Canada honours two Concordians for their exceptional learning and intellectual accomplishments

Professors Martha Langford and Jean-Philippe Warren will be inducted as fellows of the prestigious organization in November
September 11, 2018
Sociology professor Jean-Philippe Warren says Quebec studies can generate fascinating analyses for scholarly communities around the world. | Photo by Deanna Reesor (Flickr CC)
Sociology professor Jean-Philippe Warren says Quebec studies can generate fascinating analyses for scholarly communities around the world. | Photo by Deanna Reesor (Flickr Creative Commons)

Two of Concordia’s leading researchers in Canadian history have been selected to join the ranks of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) this fall.

On November 16, Martha Langford, professor in the Department of Art History and director of Concordia’s Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, and Jean-Philippe Warren, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Concordia University Research Chair for the Study of Quebec, will both be inducted into the prestigious non-profit organization.

“The Royal Society of Canada recognizes the exceptional learning and intellectual accomplishments of our country’s top scholars. As such, being named a fellow of the Society is an honour of the highest order,” says Christophe Guy, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies at Concordia. “I couldn’t be more pleased for Dr. Langford and Dr. Warren.”

He also notes that these most recent appointments demonstrate how Concordians continue to think critically and creatively about our changing world.

“The consistent annual election of our researchers to the society speaks to the university’s leadership as a knowledge-creation institution in the arts, humanities and social sciences,” he says.

The history of photography in Canada

Art historian Martha Langford, who is also research chair of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, has had a long and distinguished career studying photography. She will join the RSC’s Academy of the Arts and Humanities.

Martha Langford

“This is a great honour, which recognizes not just my work, but the field in which I work — the history of photography in Canada,” she says. “I am especially excited to join a society of scholars that places so much emphasis on interdisciplinarity and transnational exchange, which are also key aspects of photographic studies.”

Langford is delighted this year’s induction ceremony will take place at Dalhousie University in Halifax. The city is home to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, now NSCAD University, which is where she studied photography in the early 1970s.

“It seems somehow fitting to be returning there, on the wings of my Concordia nomination to the Royal Society of Canada,” says Langford.

In 2010, Langford published “A Short History of Photography, 1900-2000,” the first comprehensive survey of modern Canadian photographic art, in The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d'histoire de l'art canadien and co-editor of the Beaverbrook Foundation Series on Canadian Art History.

Langford’s writing on photography and video addresses mediated experience in relation to constructs of memory and imagination, as well as vernacular photography — the study of images that take everyday life and common things as subjects.

She is an also an active independent curator whose exhibitions include Unmasking: Arthur Renwick, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas for the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, as well as Preoccupations: Photographic Explorations of the Grey Nuns Mother House for Concordia’s FOFA Gallery. During her career, Langford has held fellowships at the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University and the National Gallery of Canada.

Quebec in the past century

Sociology professor Jean-Philippe Warren investigates the history of Quebec’s people, places and culture in order to identify ways in which the province has changed over the last 100 years. He will become a member of the RSC’s Academy of Social Sciences.

Photo by David Ward

“Being inducted into the Royal Society exemplifies how Quebec studies can generate fascinating analyses that are relevant not only to the province’s residents but the entire world’s scholarly community,” says Warren, adding that this field of study is anything but parochial.

He notes that becoming a fellow of the RSC demonstrates how Concordia has become a vibrant hub for researchers interested in the province. Warren says the university’s faculty and students are developing innovative perspectives and approaches to revisit old issues or define new ones. Much of the credit for his scholarly success goes to the “conversations I’m lucky to have with colleagues working in different disciplines,” he remarks.

A prolific writer, Warren has published 12 books and hundreds of academic articles and book chapters in under 20 years. His work includes studies on Quebec sociologist Fernand Dumont, painter Paul-Émile Borduas and writer-politician Honoré Beaugrand. He is also a member of the scientific committee for Humanities and Social Sciences, serves on the editorial board for Bulletin d’histoire politique, works as an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, and consults for “Histoire Engagée.”

Warren holds degrees from Université Laval, Université de Montréal and France’s École normale supérieure, and has taught at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. He received the Governor General's Award for French-language non-fiction in 2015, the Canadian History of Education Association Founders' Prize in 2014, and the Michel-Brunet and Clio prizes in 2004.

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