Le Cercle de Lecture
- Minnesota, AATF -
Un peu d'histoire
- primarily by Michèle Cassavante, supplemented by archived chapter newsletter emendations and member commentary-
In 1999 Michèle Cassavante (1) and Mary Ellen Kasak-Saxler (2) suggested that the Mn-AATF chapter offer a 3 part workshop on the Maghreb during the next academic year.
The series of workshops, beginning in Fall, 2000 and continuing on January 27, 2001, at the Mn Humanities Commission, and then (3) March 30-31, 2001, met with great success thanks to all the amazing individuals who gave of their time and expertise.
Following those events, Michèle Cassavante and Joëlle Vitiello (4) saw a need and a desire for creating a book group on Maghrébin authors and for the first two years the group met in the homes of chapter members on Saturday mornings under the name: Salon du Thé à la Menthe.
After that we began to meet on the Macalester College campus in St. Paul under the new name and a shift from Maghrébin authors to French authors of North African heritage/background under the guidance originally of Joëlle Vitiello (5) and the group's creators.
Then we shifted to authors of the francophone world. It has been over a decade now that we have come together to share ideas and to discover francophone writers.
An article on the reading group project by Joëlle Vitiello was published in the AATF National Bulletin (6).
Under the presidency of Laurent Déchery (2005-07), the national AATF responded favorably to the Board's request for a grant and those who attended a session were given a copy of the book to be discussed at the next session.
The French author, René Frégni, was visiting lecturer for several chapter events early in May, 2009 under the presidency of Lydia Belatèche (2007-12) with encouragement and assistance of Anne Marie Gronhovd of Gustavus Adolphus College. He spoke at the chapter's Annual Dinner May 1, 2009 at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul. He was guest author for the Cercle de Lecture session discussion at Macalester College, in St. Paul. Then, after a potluck lunch, he conducted a very successful and highly applauded writing workshop. His visit was co-funded by the chapter along with Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College, and a National AATF grant. See: Frégni visit, May 2 , 2009.
The Summer, 2009 issue of the chapter newsletter, REFLETS de l'étoile du nord (Vol.29, No. 3) was focused on Frégni's visit.
The small, but faithful and loyal group of attendees, led now by Françoise Denis and Laurent Dechéry among others, after much discussion settles on a set of four titles for the group's meetings each academic year - listed in issues of the newsletter, REFLETS de l'étoile du nord and the chapter website Chapter academic year Calendars .
1. She had attended an NEH Seminar on the Arab World and the West and then spent the first half of the 99-00 school year in francophone Africa on sabbatical
2. Chapter Co-Presidents 2003-05
3. With co-sponsorship of the Twin Cities Alliance Française
4. Chapter President beginning, August, 2012
5. She wrote a thorough review for the Winter 2000 issue of Reflets de l'étoile du nord (page 6)
of the "Colloque sur la Recherche Féministe dans la Francophonie Plurielle, Dakar, 17-21 mai, 1999"
in which she had been a participant
6. "Salon du thé à la menthe", Volume 27, Number 4, April, 2002, p. 35.
2016-17 season dates:
[ - 1er oct. - 10 déc. - 11 mars - 6 mai ]
PDF list of titles of readings - MnAATF Cercle de Lecture
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- - Created on 25 June, 2012 [ http://mnaatf.org/Cercle.htm ] - - - Last up-dated: 4 juin, 2016- -