Franco-American Collection

Franco-American Collection to Open Season with Reception and Talk

Two mainstays of Orono’s Franco-American Centre will be coming to Lewiston on September 20 to offer their perspective on “In and Out of War in Franco-American Communities: Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families.”  Susan Pinette, Director of Franco American Programs, and Lisa Michaud, Coordinator of Community Engagement, will be speaking at the Franco-American Collection as part its “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service” program.  The talk will be an exploration of how military service is both a disruption to ethnic identity and a means to strengthen it.  The speakers will look at Franco-American literature and at real-world examples.  At the end of the evening, audience members will be welcome to join in and discuss how their wartime experiences either drew them closer to their home community or separated them from it. The talk will be at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College on Tuesday, September 20.  A reception at 5:00 pm will celebrate the new academic year; the talk will begin at 6 pm.

              Ms. Pinette is Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature and Director of Franco American Programs at The University of Maine and received her doctorate in French at the University of California, Irvine.  Her research and published works examine contemporary Franco American literature, showing its significance to the broader arenas of North American Francophone communities and American studies. Ms. Michaud is originally from Van Buren, and is of both Acadian and Quebecois descent.  As well as serving as Coordinator of Community Engagement, she is Managing Editor of Le Forum, a bilingual periodical published by the Centre.  She is active in digitizing oral histories, organizing cultural events, translating, and genealogy.

This event continues the Collection’s “Franco-Americans DuringWartime: A Heritage of Service” program, which began last spring.  The series was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Common Heritage Grant Program, an effort to help preserve historical materials by making digital copies of items held by the community.  The Collection is focusing on the wartime experiences of Franco-Americans, whether in military service or on the homefront. 

Future events in the series will include a 7 pm talk on October 4 by James Myall, former coordinator of the Franco-American Collection, entitled “Sous les Drapeaux: Franco-American Voices from the Front Lines” and a Digitization Day on October 22.  This will be an opportunity to bring in wartime-related materials to be digitized between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. All events will be held in Room 170 of USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston. Please visit http://usm.maine.edu/franco for more information, call 753-6545, or email janet.roberts@maine.edu. The Collection is usually open Mon.-Thurs., from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., although it is best to call ahead to confirm.