LEWISTON – Examining the dynamics of French settlement in North American will be the topic of a spring semester course at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College.

“French settlement in northeastern North America stretches from the beaches and fishing communities of the French shore in Newfoundland to the avant-garde crowded sidewalks of Manhattan, from the ice floes of Hudson Bay to the immigrant communities of Toronto and Philadelphia, from the mill towns of New England to the farming villages of Qubec and Acadia,” said course instructor Barry Rodrigue, PhD.

“In fact, the term Franco-American’ was developed at the end of the 19th century by elite French-Canadian professional men residing in New England. Other settlers in the Northeast have identified themselves as French,’ Acadian,’ French Canadians,’ Qubcois’ or Franco-Ontarians.’ Our goal in this course will be to look at the exciting dynamics of French settlement in the area, including discussions about the meanings of these shifting identifications.”

The course (HUM 310, French Settlement in the Northeast) is part of the French North American Studies concentration offered through the baccalaureate degree program in arts and humanities.

Designed to develop an appreciation for the diversity of French society on this continent, the concentration focuses on the diversity and contributions of French society from “Maine to Haiti and Capes to the Yukon.” Students are encouraged to conduct individual research, such as investigating Lewiston-Auburn’s heritage and the forgotten French communities in other parts of the state.

The French Settlement in the Northeast course will meet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, beginning Jan. 24. Registration is open through the first week of classes. Anyone interested is encouraged to call the college at 753-6530 for registration information. Rodrigue can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Students conducting research for the courses have access to the Franco-American Heritage Collection located at the college. The collection, formerly known as the Centre d’Heritage Franco-Americain, is an extensive archive of documents, photographs, books and artifacts relating to Franco-American history and culture in Lewiston-Auburn.

The collection is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. For more information, call 753-6545.


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