Noted scholar Dr. Mark Richard will appear at the University of Maine at the Fort Kent annual Presidential Lecture Series on Thursday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in Fox Auditorium to discuss his book Loyal but French: The Negotiation of Identity by French-Canadian Descendants in the United States. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Topic of discussion will be The Ku Klux Klan Confronts Maine’s French Speakers in the 1920s. Dr. Richard’s research brought to the light the lesser-known period of Maine’s history when the Ku Klux Klan threatened to become its major political power. His work challenges prevailing notions of “assimilation.”
Loyal but French portrays the French-Canadian history of Lewiston, from the 1880s through the 1990s, in this light. With a wealth of dates, the insights of a professional historian, and the sensitivity of a “local,” Richard offers a new conceptualization of ways that immigrants become Americans.
Dr. Richard received a Ph.D. in history at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) in 2001 and a master’s degree from the University of Maine in 1994.
He is currently professor of History and Canadian Studies at State University of New York, College of Plattsburg (New York). Previously, Richard served as assistant professor of social studies of education and social sciences at UMFK.
Dr. Richard is working on a book-length manuscript, Not a Catholic Nation: The Ku Klux Klan Confronts New England Catholics in the 1920s, which is under review by a university press. Not Foreigners but Americans: A Case Study of French-Canadian Descendants in Lewiston, Maine, will be published by Je Me Souviens, a publication of the American-French Genealogical Society.
In 1998, Richard received the Fulbright Research Grant to Canada from the U.S. Fulbright Program. He also received a research grant from the “Le Club français” in 2004.
Richard’s professional affiliations include the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States and American Council for Québec Studies, for which he also serves as secretary.
He has presented throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, Dr. Richard spoke at a conference of the American Council for Québec Studies in Sarasota, Florida on The Ku Klux Klan in the Franco-American Sentinelle Crisis.
Launched in 2010, The UMFK Presidential Lecture Series provides a platform for intellectual discourse among campus and community participants and endeavors to meet part of UMFK’s Strategic Plan for Excellence. The series, which is aimed at fostering an environment of academic inquiry and excellence, brings to campus a variety of renowned scholars, speakers, authors, and poets who stimulate an ongoing dialogue about social issue. The series is supported through grants provided by the Libra Foundation.
For more information on the presentation, please contact Lise Pelletier, director of the Acadian Archives acadiennes at (207) 834-7536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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