Dr. Virgil Paul Benoit
Professor of French
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Virgil Benoit has studied and lectured at Université Laval (Quebec City), University of Ottawa, University of Regina, Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (Manitoba), University of Rennes (Bretagne, France), Aix-en-Provence (France), Université de Paris (Sorbonne), Université des Antilles et de la Guyane (Martinique), University of Vermont, Colgate University, Harvard University and at several other universities in the US.
Virgil Benoit’s general interests as well as professional and personal activities include the following.
French language curriculum, baroque and classical literature and society in France, Quebec literature and society, the Francophonie of the Americas, French-Canadian heritage and the francophone diaspora in the Middlewest.
Current projects include writing a manual for teaching first year French at UND, defining research projects in Canada for undergraduates in French, preparing a scholarly edition of the manuscripts of Charles Morin (in collaboration), Director of the UND Initiatives in French Midwest project, Writing Midwest francophonie for IFMidwest magazine and maintaining a website.
Since writing his PhD dissertation on social values as reflected in 17th century French drama, Virgil Benoit has researched and taught especially about the relationship of culture to society in the francophonie of the Americas. In his early writings, he focused on French-Canadian and michif history in Minnesota and North Dakota. Later he developed dramatic history alive presentations while exploring public programming. His current focus is on creating resources to help individuals and community groups of all interests and backgrounds in the Midwest to connect with the French network of the Americas. He does this through his teaching, research, publications and service to IFMidwest, which he founded in 2006.
Virgil has presented to more than two hundred, civic, cultural, and professional organizations, nationally and internationally. He has presented internationally in Quebec, Montreal, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Martinique and Paris and, nationally, throughout the Middlewest, as well in eastern and western US states. He is the founding President of the Association of the French of the North/AFRAN known for its public service and programs on heritage. Virgil is also the founder and Director of IFMidwest in the department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures where he serves as Professor of French.
Virgil’s writings on French-Canadian communities in the Midwest have been published by the Minnesota Historical Society, Laval University Press, Septentrion (Quebec), Concordia, and in numerous reviews and magazines. In his research and writing as well as in the creation of programs for students and out-of-school individuals, Virgil collaborates extensively with colleagues and community leaders in the Midwest, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Each year over fifty University of North Dakota students participate in programs which Virgil arranges in Canada, while over seven hundred persons annually take part in public programming sponsored off-campus by both IFMidwest and AFRAN throughout the states of Minnesota and North Dakota.
For his professional contributions to the region and to academic life Virgil has received the following awards.
- “Best of North Dakota” Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Indianapolis, Foreign Language Association of North Dakota/FLAND 2010-2011.
- Best Public Scholar, 2008 Center for Community Engagement, University of North Dakota.
- French language teacher of the year, Minnesota American Association of Teachers of French, 2000.
- Red River Valley Educator, Red River Valley Historical Society/Red River Valley Heritage Society, 1994.
- Best public programmer 1990, Minnesota Humanities Commission.
- Outstanding community service in the Humanities, Roland Dille, Moorhead State University, 1990.
- l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, France, 1989.
- Conseil de la Vie française en Amérique, Quebec, 1989.
- l’Ordre des francophones d’Amérique, Quebec, 1985.
Virgil Benoit’s e-mail address is: email@example.com
The website for Initiatives in French is: www.ifmidwest.org
Click on “news” or “nouvelles” to find out how to obtain issues of IFMidwest magazine, a CD of the IFMidwest heritage tour across country to Quebec City, or to learn about upcoming events.
Professeur titulaire Directeur des Initiatives en français (IFMidwest) et Président de l'AFRAN Université du Dakota du Nord Virgil Benoît est professeur titulaire de français et directeur des Initiatives en français (IFMidwest) à l'Université du Dakota du Nord. Il est aussi président de l'AFRAN qu'il a fondée en 1982. Par son enseignement, ses recherches et ses actions sur le terrain de la francophonie du Midwest, il s'engage à éclairer les rapports entre idéologie de masse et "thèmes régénérateurs" en francophonie. L'Organisation des IFMidwest, qu'il a fondée en 2004, promeut le dialogue entre les communautés culturelles d'orgines canadienne-française ainsi que des francophones de toute origine du Midwest par son magazine, ses rassemblements, ses recherches et ses actions revitalisantes. Il est détenteur de plusieurs prix qu'il a reçus pour l'ensemble de son travail de recherche, publications, et l'animation de fait français en Amérique du Nord parmi lesquels on retient professeur de français de l'année de l'AATF du Minnesota 2000, le Conseil de la Vie française en Amérique, Ordre des francophones d'Amérique, Les Palmes académiques.