The Department of French, Hispanic & Italian Studies bids farewell to four longtime faculty members who have made a remarkable and lasting impact on the thousands of students they have educated, mentored, and inspired over the years. Here’s a look back at their accomplishments:
Dr. Hervé Curat
Since joining UBC in 1983, Dr. Hervé Curat was devoted to teaching and doing research in the areas of grammatical semantics of modern French; stylistics and textual analysis of French texts; psychomechanics of language and Guillaumian linguistics; the Chibcha dialects of North-Eastern Colombia, and the works of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean de La Fontaine. He was active in the media, taking part in short interview series about the proper usage of French for CBC radio and television. He authored many publications, the latest being La voie des mythes revisitée: Des pilleurs de nids de Guyane aux chasseurs de phoques d’Alaska (2020) and La mesure des mots: Microscopie du livre I des fables de La Fontaine (2015), among other works of primary importance. From Graduate Studies to Promotion and Tenure, Dr. Curat served on various FHIS committees, in addition to university-wide committees such as the Dean’s Committee on the Faculty of Arts Research and the Graduate Council.
Dr. André Lamontagne
Dr. André Lamontagne joined UBC in 1989 with a specialization in literary theory and Québécois and French literature. As Department Head from 2004-2009 and 2010-2013, he supported the establishment of faculty-led initiatives such as the Learning Centre, Spanish for Community, and Study Abroad programs. The French government awarded him the Palmes Académiques for promoting French language and culture throughout the world, most notably through the Centre de la francophonie de UBC, which he co-founded and served as Director from 2014-2018. His outstanding community service was also recognized by the Governor General of Canada, who awarded him with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers for his volunteer work as Vice President for the Société historique francophone de la Colombie-Britannique and the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique. He helped many students successfully complete their MA and PhD degrees through his graduate supervision throughout the years. As an avid writer, he authored many publications in both the academic realm (such as Le roman québécois contemporain, 2004) and the fiction realm (such as Le tribunal parallèle, 2006 and Dans la mémoire de Québec and Les Fossoyeurs, 2010).
Dr. Gloria Onyeoziri-Miller
Since joining UBC in 1994, Dr. Gloria Onyeoziri-Miller devoted her career to teaching and researching French language and literature courses, with an emphasis on African and Caribbean literature and the concept of memory and marginality. Within the general corpus of African and Caribbean literatures, she attempted to extend and refine the applications of semantic and semiotic analysis, addressing literary and political problems through a language-centered perspective. Her numerous publications included Shaken Wisdom: Irony and Meaning in Postcolonial African Fiction (2011) and La Parole poétique d’Aimé Césaire: essai de sémantique littéraire (1992). Within UBC, she participated in a large number of committees, including the Graduate Studies Committee of FHIS, the Women’s Studies Coordinating Committee of the Faculty of Arts, the Advisory Committee for the Minor in African Studies, and the Advisory Council of Access and Diversity—to name a few. Her service extended to spreading awareness about people living with disabilities, giving presentations at events such as Disability Awareness Evening, a Summer Retreat for Blind Teenagers, and a panel for Department Heads on the problems faced by people with a disability.
Dr. William Winder
Dr. Bill Winder joined UBC in 1990 with an interest in rhetoric, humour demagogy, lexicology, and automatic writing; logic and language; linguistics and semantics; and literary theory. As a digital humanist, he was involved with programming data-mining software for French-English bilingual databases to assist with digital humanities projects. Much of his published work focused on the connection between computing technology and the humanities—a theme that extended to his service within the university and beyond. Within FHIS, he served as Associate Head of the French Program and as Undergraduate Advisor for Romance Studies, in addition to participating in the Graduate Studies Committee and the Educational Technology Committee. He was also involved in the Language Lab Committee and Curriculum Council of the Faculty of Arts, and he gave presentations for the Multimedia Language Laboratory for the Advisory Committee on Campus Computing, and the Windows Text and Sound System for the Curriculum delegation for the Ministry of Education.
We are grateful to them for their exceptional contributions and wish them well in their retirement years.
Published June 29, 2020