Following the thread of history to understand the present

The redefinition of the role of the State in civil society, the advent of globalization and the fragilization of national sovereignty, the "communication explosion"… The institutions and ideas that are being challenged in this day and age result from a long historical development. It is impossible to understand these issues properly without considering the nature and transformations of social and political cohesion through time.

The Groupe de recherche sur les pouvoirs et les sociétés de l'Occident médiéval et moderne (Research Group on Medieval and Modern Western Powers and Societies), directed by Michel Hébert from Université du Québec à Montréal, is working to that end. Composed of a dozen principal researchers and some forty graduate students from the fields of history, literature and art history, the group is studying the evolution and transformation of western societies from the turn of the 11th century until the period of revolution at the end of the 18th century.

The research group's activities fall into three main categories: research, training and dissemination. The team's most significant contribution is in its role as a laboratory, a Quebec hub for research and dissemination, providing researchers of all levels with the opportunity to occupy a place de choice in the most prominent international research networks in their field. 

The group organizes monthly seminars and presents its work at the Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (2010 and 2011), the annual congresses of the ACFAS (2010) and the Canadian Society of Medievalists, and the Learned Societies Congress (2009). Many of the researchers contributed to a special issue of Memini – Travaux et documents (2009) pertaining to compendia of medieval texts (cartularies).


Groupe de recherche sur les pouvoirs et les sociétés de l'Occident médiéval et moderne


Michel Hébert, Université du Québec à Montréal

Regular members

  • Isabelle Arseneau, Université McGill
  • Jean-François Cottier, Université de Montréal
  • Ugo Dionne, Université de Montréal
  • Claire Dolan, Université Laval
  • Francis Gingras, Université de Montréal
  • Michel Hébert, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Serge Lusignan, Université de Montréal
  • Didier Méhu, Université Laval
  • Piroska Nagy, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Lyse Roy, Université du Québec à Montréal