Department or Program

American Studies

Second Department or Program



French language and cultures have a long and rich history in Maine thanks to centuries of cultural exchange with Canada, and the Franco-American communities which developed in the state as a result. Additionally, many new French speakers have immigrated to Maine over the last 25 years from Togo, the DRC, Djibouti, Rwanda, and other French-speaking countries in Africa. This thesis seeks to open a conversation about how the role and importance of French in Maine is evolving as the range of French speakers in the state expands and diversifies. In reflection of the multilingualism this project celebrates, the first half of the paper is written in French and the second half is written in English. The French section traces the history of French in Maine and uses the post-colonial theories of "la Créolité" conceptualized by Bernabé et al and "la créolisation" conceptualized by Edouard Glissant in order to demonstrate the linguistic and cultural possibilities presented by the past, present, and future of French and French-speaking cultures in Maine. The English section focuses on community perceptions of the role and importance of French in Maine, drawing from governmental reports on Maine's Franco-American communities, results of a survey conducted for this project, and information garnered from interviews with several community members. Either section can be read and understood independently, but the full picture of the evolving importance of French language and cultures in Maine comes through the combination of these multiple languages and perspectives.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Rice-DeFosse, Mary

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Open Access

Available to all.