Population Change and Lifecourse

Understanding the Populations of the Past: Conference Final Report

By: Danielle Gauvreau, President, Federation of Canadian Demographers

The Understanding the Populations of the Past: New Developments and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Conference took place as planned on June 1-2, 2010 at Concordia University, Montreal on the occasion of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. The event gave a rare opportunity to specialists in the area of population studies, especially members of the Canadian Population Society (CPS) and l'Association des démographes du Québec (ADQ), to meet and exchange around common issues related to population.

Chad Gaffield, one of Canada’s foremost historians and president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, was the distinguished speaker and gave the opening remarks. Thirty-three papers were presented by authors, a third of which were by students, from a wide range of approaches and disciplines including Demography, History, Geography, Sociology, and Economics. The Conference held a competition for the best student paper and Nadine Ouellete from Université de Montréal won the prize.

Two journal issues are currently in preparation to publish papers presented in the Conference: one in the Canadian Studies in Population on topics related to mortality (with Alain Gagnon as special issue editor), and one in the Cahiers québecois de démographie on more general issues (with Danielle Gauvreau as editor).