Bertrand Gervais is a professor in the Département d’études littéraires at Université du Québec à Montréal and a Canada Research Chair in Digital Art and Literature. Gervais’s scholarship and community building in the digital humanities and electronic literature have been at the forefront of innovation for over twenty years. He was the founding director of the Figura Research Centre from 1999 to 2015. The centre’s focus on textuality and contemporary imagination enabled research creation and practice-based theorization of cultural production both online and off. He has directed the CFI-funded NT2 hypermedia research lab since 2004. In addition to traditional scholarship, the NT2 has led the way in the development of multiple forms of expression and intervention, including digital and physical exhibits, taxonomies, dossiers, and podcasts. It is a centre of expertise in establishing Knowledge and Research online Environments.
A prolific scholar with a broad reach, Gervais is the author of 110 articles, books, and chapters which have appeared in French, English, Portuguese, and Czech. His community building extends beyond text: the lab and the research centre bring together over sixty faculty members from cégeps and universities around the world, the centre and lab websites that attract over 100,000 visitors per year.
Gervais has moved the field forward through numerous projects, all of which merit special mention, although only a few of which are outlined here. A leader in the field of electronic literature, Gervais’ work has been central to the success of the Consortium for Electronic Literature (CELL) project, an open access resource of literary scholarship and electronic writing in the humanities, developed at NT2 and feature numerous international collaborators. His interdisciplinary project, Repères pour une articulation des dimensions culturelles, artistiques et littéraires de l’imaginaire contemporain (RADICAL), moved the imaginary into the realm of interface, bringing together tools and methodologies to better understand contemporary aesthetics and the responses they evoke. L’Observatoire de l’imaginaire contemporain, an online encyclopedia dedicated to the understanding of the contemporary imagination, documents these often-fleeting contemporary phenomena.
It is the great pleasure that the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanitiés numériques to names Dr. Bertrand Gervais as the recipient of CSDH/SCHN’s 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award for Computing in the Arts and Humanities.