Franconnexions conferenceUniversity of Vermont, Burlington Monday, March 20, 2017
A conference highlighting the historical, cultural and economic contributions of French Canadians from Québec into Vermont and New England.
Between 1830 and 1930, close to one million immigrants from Québec poured into Vermont and New England, populating towns and villages, starting new businesses and farms. While many of these new immigrants settled closer to the border, others spread throughout Vermont and into New England. The influence of these new settlers on the state and region was vast, from politics to culture, to the economy. In many northern schools in Vermont, French was as frequently spoken as English. Today, while the phone book remains heavily dominated by French surnames, this huge influx of population is largely integrated. Yet some 25% of Vermonters trace their ancestry to French Canada.
In this conference we look at the past, the present and the future of these cross-border migrations and relationships. In three panels we examine this story, asking these fundamental questions:
•Past: How and why was Vermont and New England populated by so many French Canadians in the 19th-early twentieth centuries? When, how and why did this massive influx assimilate?
•Present: How do cross-border connections with Québec, in tourism and in trade, continue to shape the culture and economy of Northern New England?
•Future: How does the French Canadian wave of immigration relate to current immigration trends? What can we learn from the past as we think about the future?
•Mark P. Richard, Professor of History and Canadian Studies, SUNY Plattsburgh
•Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie, Government of Québec
•Leslie Choquette, Director of the French Institute at Assumption College
•David Massell, Professor of History and Director, Center for Canadian Studies, University of Vermont
•Susan Pinette, Director of the Franco-American Centre, University of Maine
•Ernest Pomerleau, French Honorary Consul in Burlington, Pomerleau Real Estate
•Carole Salmon, Chair of World Languages and Cultures, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
•Adeline Simenon, Director, Paul, Frank & Collins
•Chris Louras, Mayor, City of Rutland, Vermont
•Mary Rice-DeFosse, Professor of French & Francophone Studies, Bates College
This is a one-day conference starting at 8:00 with a continental breakfast and continuing until 3:30, with three panels and lunch provided. Following the last panel a special flag raising ceremony and reception will take place in downtown Burlington. Registration is $40 which includes breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks and invitation to the reception. Registration scholarships and student discounts are available by contacting Richard Watts at email@example.com.
STUDENT PAPER COMPETITION
Student papers on any aspect of the New England/Québec relationship should be submitted by March 1, 2017. Selected students will receive lodging, travel expenses and be eligible for cash prizes.
Competition rules (English)
Competition rules (French)
•Richard Watts, firstname.lastname@example.org (802-373-1131)
•David Massell, email@example.com (802-656-3180)
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE & COLLABORATORS
David Massell, Canadian Studies; Richard Watts, Center for Research on Vermont; Laurence Gagnon, Government of Québec, Office in Boston; Victoria-Brassart Jones, Alliance Francaise of the Lake Champlain Region; Tom Torti, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; Susan Pinette, Director of the Franco-American Centre at the University of Maine; Ernest A. Pomerleau, French Honorary Consul in Burlington; Laurence Clerfeuille, Professor of French, St. Micheals College; Lise Veronneau, City of Burlington/Honfleur Sister City.
Government of Québec, the Vermont Green Line, UVM Humanities Center; Center for Canadian Studies, Center for Research on Vermont, Pomerleau Real Estate, Vermont Academy of Arts & Sciences, RETN | Regional Educational Television Network
* 1. Partial list. 2. Minister St-Pierre invited