LEWISTON — The Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society’s spring meeting, which will include a talk by Mary Rice-DeFosse, professor of French and Francophone studies at Bates College. 

Rice-Defosse is the co-author with James Myall of “Writing the Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn.” She will speak about the various sources for the book: parish histories, newspapers, oral histories and genealogical information, including the way the authors judged the validity of their sources. The presentation will focus on the research process.

Rice-DeFosse earned her doctorate at Yale University and also studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. She has worked to integrate the history, literature and culture of Maine’s Franco-Americans and other French-speakers into the curriculum at Bates. She is co-author, with Myall, of “The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn.”

She served as lead scholar for a permanent exhibit on the work of the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe in the local community at the Gendron Franco Center for Heritage and the Performing Arts in Lewiston. She also wrote and co-produced a documentary, titled “They Came, They Served,” which is a part of that exhibit.

She serves on the board of the Gendron Franco Center and on the board of the Franco-American Collection of the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College. She is past president of Women in French, an international professional organization dedicated to the study of women writers of French expression. Her research publications include essays on French literature of the 19th century. She was inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame by the State Legislature in 2014.

The Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society will host Rice-Defosse on Saturday, April 21, in the Androscoggin Room of the Auburn Public Library. The general meeting will begin at 10 a.m. The presentation by Rice-Defosse will follow around 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Mary Rice-DeFosse


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