While most people think of the the Eiffel tower and the Louvre when it comes to France, a New Mexico State University professor is bringing a taste of the French countryside and culture to Las Cruces in the next “Global Connections” talk.
Glenn Fetzer, department head of languages and linguistics in the College of Arts and sciences, will present “France: Focus on Provence” from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the College of Health and Social Services Annex Auditorium, Room 101A. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Nestled between the Rhône River and the Italian border, Provence, France was one of the settings for NMSU’s Faculty-Led International Programs (FLiP) trip last year. Fetzer led the trip of nine students around Provence and other areas of France.
“The idea for this trip came from my interest in this region of France,” Fetzer said. “I have traveled there multiple times and I enjoy teaching about the culture and history of this area.”
Historically the area has been home to a variety of peoples, including the ancient Greeks, the Celts, the Carolingians and the Merovingians. With different sites to see all around the region, the class spent all of their extra time visiting different landmarks and learning about the lifestyle in Provence.
“I wanted to combine the village aspect with the regional aspect of Provence,” Fetzer said. “There is such a specific culture that comes with Provence. I plan to explain that through photos and talking about my experience in that region.”
While in France, Fetzer’s class also spent time in the city of Avignon. With a few free days, the students had a chance to explore the city on their own, visiting its historic sites.
Another aspect that Fetzer plans to talk about is French cooking. “Provence-style” cuisine, for example, has hearty extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and tomatoes.
“There is just something special about the cultures of Provence and Avignon,” said Fetzer. “It’s unlike any other part of France that I’ve visited and the summers there are very unique, I want to share that with others”
The “Global Connections” series features faculty members’ trips around the world. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to learn from NMSU professors about the kind of global first-hand experience they might otherwise never encounter.