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18:00 - 19:30 9 April 2018

‘The Pollution Bandwagon’: The Fight Against Car Pollution in Montreal, 1960s–1970s


Seminar room 105 | UCL – Institute of the Americas (link Map)
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Dr Valerie Poirier, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Guelph, Valérie Poirier is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Guelph and a member of the Montreal History Group. She specialises in the social, environmental and urban history of twentieth century Quebec. She recently completed a PhD in history at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), in which she examined how the car came to be perceived as an environmental risk in Montreal during the long sixties. With Stéphane Savard (UQAM), she co-edited a special issue of the Bulletin d’histoire politique on environmental activism in Quebec, in which she also published an article focusing on the citizen-led opposition to the construction of the Ville-Marie expressway in Montreal in the early 1970s.

Dr Valérie Poirier (University of Guelph) - Various historians have drawn our attention to North America’s love affair with the automobile during the mid-to late twentieth century. By the mid-1950s—the ‘golden era’ of automobility—automobile sales were skyrocketing across the continent and the car was deeply entrenched in popular culture as a strong symbol of freedom, prosperity and progress. While this dominant vision of the car has never entirely disappeared, it was seriously challenged during the 1960s and the 1970s, two decades historian Brian Ladd has labelled the ‘golden era of car bashing’. This presentation explores why and how the automobile came to be perceived as a risk for the health of the urban population and for the environment during these decades in Montreal.


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)2031089721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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