Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Montreal

CIRM - Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal

Taille : 13-100
Depuis : 2012
Statut : en cours
100 people met
Duréé :
Territoire : Régional
Pascal Brissette (Directeur)
Stephan Gervais (Scientific Coordinator)
CIRM - Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Montréal


How would you describe your project to a 6 year-old child?

It’s a group of people who meet in a place to think about all the questions that are asked of a big city like Montreal.

What are you listening to?

Stories, narratives. We listen to everything that involves social innovation or citizen innovation.
5 research themes, while maintaining an open vision

  • health/environment
  • culture/arts
  • economy/territory
  • institutions
  • diversity, civic rights, identity

ex. The creation of a database for the archives of Quebec poetry ( the library of Gaetan Dostie)


How to manage the tension between the time it takes to collect data and the urgency to move to action?


We are working on developing a common methodology between ethnography (oral and narrative) and analysis of social discourse (text)
We are developing joint methods to gather testimonies and speeches to generate a more complete understanding. The combination of these two methodologies is at the heart of the practices of the CIRM

Fondements Théorique

Theories of social discourse can be used for transformation, in order to create mechanisms for unlocking innovation. The world of literary studies can enter into co-creation with the city.
We take inspiration from the work of Marc Angenot. Everything that is said is thought and narrates itself.

We create a multidisciplinary team, an infrastructure that will further objectify the mass of what is going to be gathered. For example, we want to develop a visual representation of the data to help teams better understand and create change mechanisms that are in line with what we see.

The CIRM works at the city scale, to understand what is said of Montreal, but also what is said from Montreal.


BARI – Boston area research initiative – a research project with a vision for a better understanding of the city. Also the work of the Urban institute of Washington:
A work on the public politics, actions and data level. tonarearesearchinitiative/

L’importance de l’écoute

The conditions for change are already in circulation in the existing discourse and narratives. At the same time, everything is not said, because everything is not imaginable. To think of the new is to think against what you already know. Innovation is socially conditioned by our way of thinking.

Listening, is giving ways to understand, to change. Listening is harvesting. What we want in the end, is to move toward action. The social sciences can help change the city, by listening.


Listening can contribute to social and citizen engagement of universities. It can break down doors and barriers between citizens, researchers and individuals (ex: children's policy, which affects us at all levels)