Dr. Audrey Rousseau is an Assistant Professor at Université du Québec en Outaouais, specializing in the sociology of memory, Indigenous studies, women’s experience of oppression, and testimonial practices.
Her present participatory research project (SSHRC, 2018-2020) aims to bring together survivors and families of disappeared Indigenous women and girls to create culturally appropriate narratives to honour and commemorate their loved ones. These living archives could serve as education tools to document specific cases of disappearance in the province of Québec, thus, teaching about colonial violence against Indigenous women and girls and its enduring legacy.
As a feminist, Audrey’s work values the voices of marginalized social groups that have been (are) directly affected by historical wrongs. She is thus particularly attentive to the role and meaning conveyed by “memory entrepreneurs’ involved in different aspects of witnessing and accounting the past in the light of the present and the future. As such, her doctoral dissertation explored the contemporary struggles for justice led by survivors of the Magdalen Laundries (religious-run institutions, in the 18th-20th centuries, that confined, abused, and forced into labour girls and women deemed “fallen”) and their allies in Ireland.
As a personal artistic involvement with her doctoral research topic, Audrey independently produced a documentary film project (In Loving Memories 2017). Through the witnessing of 7 activists and researchers, the film brings to life a polyphonic narrative of affective memories –between historical record and pedagogical tool– trying to recognize the extent of discrimination in the Magdalene Laundries and the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland.