In the spring, l’Amicale francophone de York/York’s Francophone Friendship Association was created by a group of francophone faculty members. It is an informal academic network for researchers conducting projects in French at York University.
L’Amicale is a peer support group for members to share information on research opportunities in French, consolidate their research networks, and find support to advocate for a better research environment in French at York.
The creation of the Amicale is a response to some of the logistical and practical challenges to conducting research in French at York University, including the lack of visibility for new opportunities in French at the university level, fragmented networks and opportunities currently in place, and difficulties in conducting research or enhancing research impact in French.
Professor Gertrude Mianda, director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas, says, “I’ve come to realize that there are several francophone faculty members at York outside of Glendon College, but the lack of a network contributes to their invisibility and impedes fruitful collaborations, which could bring to light York’s contribution to bilingualism.”
In response to these challenges, l’Amicale was conceived as a way to bring together researchers, faculty members and graduate students alike, who are interested in or are conducting research initiatives in French. It is meant to create a collegial community raising visibility and amplifying French scholarship at York University, as well as exploring connections to growing francophone academic networks in the Greater Toronto Area.
Professor Jean Michel Montsion, director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, explains, “there are great opportunities for any researchers interested in conducting research or connecting with the local francophone academic community, notably l’Association francophone pour le savoir (L’Afcas), which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023 and has a new local chapter here in Toronto.”
Any faculty members or graduate students at York interested in being part of l’Amicale francophone de York is invited to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.