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Guy Poirier

Professor | Department Chair

519-888-4567 x33394
Office: ML 335

  • B.A. Université Laval, 1983

  • M.A. McGill University, 1986

  • PhD McGill University, 1991


Guy is a French Renaissance literature specialist. He works on topics related to Early Modern Studies: images of homosexuality in Renaissance France, Henri III of France in literature and pamphlets, accounts of travel in pre-1800 Europe. He also publishes in areas such as Québec literature and British Columbia French Literature. Guy started his career at Simon Fraser University, and came to the University of Waterloo in 2003. He was then the principal investigator of a B.C. based research group working on the French history and culture of British Columbia. More recently, he has been the principal investigator of a research project on missionary letters, and of a partnership development program (SSHRC funded) on missionary texts in the French world. Guy is also the principal investigator of a research project on François-Xavier de Charlevoix (SSHRC). 

Research and teaching interests

  • Renaissance Literature and culture
  • 16th-Century French Polemics and Social Discourse
  • Early Modern Accounts of Travel
  • French Missions; texts and contexts
  • British Columbia French Canadian and Québec Literatures

Current projects

I am currently involved in different editorial projects related to Henri III of France and his time, and to missionary texts on Japan (“les lettres du Japon”). I am also the principal investigator of a Partnership Development Project: “Textes misssionnaires dans l’espace francophone” (SSHRC). This networking initiative explores three aspects of French missionary texts: archives, encounter and space, and collective memory of missions. A website is also devoted to the partnership, and there are two forthcoming publications:

I am also the principal investigator of an insight research project on the work of the French Jesuit François-Xavier de Charlevoix on Japan (SSHRC). Charlevoix lived and travelled in New France, and published many historical monographs about missions in which he attempted to reconcile a humanist and religious perspective of the world inherited from the Renaissance, and the new epistemology of the Age of Enlightenment.

Selected publications

G. Poirier, L’homosexualité dans l’imaginaire de la Renaissance, Paris, Honoré Champion, 1996.

G. Poirier, Henri III de France en mascarades imaginaires. Mœurs, humeurs et comportements d’un roi de la Renaissance, Québec, PUL, 2010.

G. Poirier, C. Guilbault et J. Viswanathan (dir.), La francophonie de la Colombie Britannique : mémoire et fiction, Espaces culturels francophones III, Orléans, David, 2012. (Voir aussi, dans la même collection : G. Poirier (dir), Culture et littérature francophones de la Colombie-Britannique : du rêve à la réalité. Espaces culturels francophones II, Orléans, David, 2008; et G. Poirier, G. Merler et J. Viswanathan, Littérature et culture francophones de la Colombie-Britannique. Espaces culturels francophones I, Orléans, David, 2004.)

G. Poirier, M.-C. Gomez-Géraud et F. Paré (dir.), De l’Orient à la Huronie. Du récit de pèlerinage au texte missionnaire, Québec, PUL, 2011.

L. Hotte et G. Poirier (dir.), Habiter la distance. Études en marge de la Distance habitée, Sudbury, Prises de Parole, 2009.

I. de Conihout, J.-F. Maillard et Guy Poirier (dir), Henri III mécène des arts, des lettres et des sciences, Paris, PUPS, 2006.

G. Poirier (dir.), La Renaissance, hier et aujourd’hui, Québec, PUL, 2002. 

University of Waterloo