The early French explorers of North America are familiar to most Americans, but few people are aware that French today is the fourth-most commonly spoken home language in the U.S. and that there are French-speaking communities scattered across the land. Some, like those in Missouri, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, are on the verge of extinction. Others, like the Franco-Americans of the New England mill towns and the Cajuns of Louisiana, are endangered. Yet in Florida new groups have arisen. Join us this year, as Espaces explores some of these communities.

"Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi," 1718

Ku Klux Klan in Maine

La Guerre des Langues.
A course on language conflict and language death, with particular attention to French in North America. FREN 410/610, fall 2007, Wednesdays 7:00-9:40 p.m. In French.

Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 p.m. UC 310
The Franco-American Experience
A discussion with six people ranging in age from the 30s to the 80s who grew up in the French-speaking communities of New England. In English and French.

Monday, October 22, 12:00 p.m. UC 310
French Minorities in the U.S.: Dimensions of Language Conflict
Students from FREN 410 will present some of the lesser-known French minorities of the U.S. In French.

Thursday, October 11, 2007, 4:30 p.m. Room TBA
The Language Calls to Me: Maintenance and Loss of French Among the Franco-Americans of the Northeast
Cynthia Fox, Associate Professor of Linguistics, SUNY Albany
Professor Fox is the country's leading expert on the socio-linguistic situation of the French-speaking communities of the northeastern United States. In English.

"Le Journal de Lowell [Mass.]," July 1990

Church in Cahokia, Illinois

Monday, February 18, 2008, 4:30 p.m. UC 310
Musique Cadienne (Cajun) avec Keeley
Keeley West-Linley, Anne Arundel Public Schools
An opportunity to listen to Cajun music performed live and maybe even a chance to participate… In French and English.

Monday, March 10, 2008, 12:00 p.m. UC 310
Contre Vents, Contre Marées (Bourbonnais, 2003)
A moving presentation of the rich history of the Cajun people and of their struggle to survive. In French.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 7:00 p.m. UC 310
Louisiana Story (Flaherty, 1948)
A propaganda film that turned out to be a beautiful and poetic evocation of Cajun country. In French and English.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 7:00 p.m. UC 310
Schultze Gets the Blues (Schorr, 2003)
A retired German accordion player discovers Cajun music and heads for Louisiana. In German and English.

Cajun band