Dean R. Louder
B.A.(Brigham Young); M.A., Ph.D.(Washington)
Dr. Dean Louder is an unlikely champion and pioneer of research into the North American Francophonie. Slowly, consistently, passionately, for over thirty-five years, this American-born geographer became the foremost specialist of French-speaking America by exploring communities others overlooked. The University of Manitoba honours him today for his extraordinary contributions to the preservation and promotion of French-language culture in North America.
Dr. Louder is an anglophone whose love of the French language infuses everything he does. Indeed, he has published the greater part of his scholarly work in French.
Upon his arrival at Université Laval, Dr. Louder immediately took up the cause of the Francophonie. Throughout his career, the now retired geography professor pioneered studies into French-speaking America and became a recognized expert in the field. His works have made important contributions to the knowledge and understanding that we have of Franco-America, and his publications have led to specialized studies and research chairs in this field.
Dr. Louder took an interest in minorities in the United States, particularly in Louisiana, where he made the discovery of a different America, a French-speaking America. This first contact with the francophone world influenced the direction of his career, and the majority of his work has dealt with various aspects of living in French in North America.
Early in his trailblazing career, Dr. Louder and a colleague published a book that set the tone for research into the continental Francophonie, a foundational text that would become a classic, translated into English as: French America: Mobility, Identity, and Minority Experience across the Continent.
Throughout his academic career he made numerous students aware of French communities by organizing excursions to the far corners of the continent. What followed were explorations into French-speaking regions: Acadia, Louisiana, New England, Ontario, the American Midwest, Western Canada and the United States, and many other tiny communities of which few people are aware.
The University of Manitoba is proud to recognize Dr. Dean Louder, a fine example of an academic explorer, with a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.