The attractions of Maine

1:30 pm, Diamond 122

  • Acadians of the St. John Valley: Lise Pelletier, Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent
  • French-Canadians of Brunswick/Topsham: David Vermette, researcher and writer
  • Eastern European Jews: Lauren Gluck, Colby College Class of ’16
  • Somalis of Lewiston: Fatuma Hussein, United Somali Women of Maine
  • moderator: Robert Weisbrot, Colby College History Department

PelletierLise Pelletier is director of the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at the University of Maine in Fort Kent. She was born in Fort Kent to an American mother and a Canadian father, but raised in Clair, N.B., so has had her feet firmly planted on both sides of the majestic St. John River her entire life. She has researched and written about Acadian Literature since 1990 and is passionate about her native French language. She is a board member of the Congrès mondial acadien 2014 and is president of the Maine Acadian Heritage Council. She has given numerous presentations about the Acadians of Maine in Maine, New Brunswick, Québec, and Nova Scotia. She testified before UNESCO in September 2013 about the value of making the “aboiteau” (dyke) system of Grand-Pré a World Heritage Site.

David Vermette PhotoDavid Vermette is a researcher and writer. He has contributed to research published by Oxford University Press and covered by The Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. He is the writer and editor of the blog “French North America” and the website He is administrator of the Facebook group French Canadian Descendants, which has almost 4000 members. His work on Franco-American history has appeared in Le Forum and Késsinnimek – Roots – Racines.  He has spoken at Tufts University, Bowdoin College, the University of Maine, as well as at historical societies and other venues. He is currently based in Annapolis, Maryland.

GluckLauren Gluck is a junior at Colby College. She is pursuing a major in American Studies with a concentration in American Literature and minors in Education/Human Development and Creative Writing. She spent the first twelve years of her education in Jewish day schools in the Greater Boston area and she is passionate about the American Jewish experience. More recently, Lauren has developed a strong interest in children’s media and how it can be used as a catalyst for social and emotional development.  She is a mentor to children in the Waterville public schools, and she works with other Colby students who share her mission to create media for social change.

WeisbrotRobert S. Weisbrot is the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at Colby College.  A scholar of American history with particular interest in the 1960s, Rob also studies and teaches about Jewish immigrants in the United States.


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