Centenary welcomes official from French consulate for public colloquium

SHREVEPORT, LA — Nicolas Torres, Attaché of Cooperation for French at the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, will visit Centenary on Friday, November 9 for a special presentation in English and in French. His talk and discussion, “Louisiana: The Rising Star of the Francophone World,” will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Whited Room in Bynum Commons and is free and open to the public.

Torres will highlight Louisiana’s recent election to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (International Organization of the Francophonie, or OIF) as an observer member. Louisiana’s application to join OIF, an international political and cultural organization that represents over 274 million French speakers worldwide, was accepted on October 11 at a summit in Erevan, Armenia. Ireland, Gambia, and Malta were also accepted as new observer states at the 2018 summit.

Louisiana is home to almost 250,000 Francophones and has 5,000 students enrolled in French-English dual-language programs. Louisiana had been granted “special-guest” status at the OIF summit since 2006, but this status did not include the right to participate in debates, vote on resolutions, or participate in two other important OIF bodies, the Ministerial Conference and the Permanent Council of La Francophonie. Scott Tilton, a young American born into a Francophone family in New Orleans and currently working in France, spearheaded the campaign for solidifying Louisiana’s status in OIF. Tilton spent two years campaigning for the recognition and worked closely with CODOFIL, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, to prepare the extensive application, which had to include letters from both Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards and the U.S. State Department.

During his talk, Torres will discuss the history and impact of the OIF and highlight Louisiana’s continuing efforts to preserve and promote French language and culture. His visit to Centenary also recognizes the College’s significant contributions to this effort, particularly through its Éditions Tintamarre, Louisiana’s only French language academic press, and Le Tintamarre, the state’s only student-run French language newspaper. Centenary’s French department also supports and promotes a weekly French Table, a French language community in one of the College’s residence halls, a French honor society, and several study-abroad options.

The Centenary Film Society and the College also organize an annual French Film Week at downtown Shreveport's Robinson Film Center. Following his talk at Centenary on November 9, Torres will open the 2018 edition of French Film Week with a dinner discussion of the film Belle de Jour starring Catherine Deneuve. For more information about the dinner and French Film Week at the RFC, visit robinsonfilmcenter.org.

For more information about French language and Francophone culture at Centenary, visit centenary.edu/french