Rièse, Laure Eva

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Rièse, Laure Eva

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1910-1996

History

Laure Eva Rièse was an academic. She was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the daughter of Frédéric Rièse and Laure Veuilleumier. She died in Toronto, Ontario, in 1996.

Rièse went to Secondary School in Switzerland. She studied arts and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, before moving to Toronto in 1928 where she assumed a teaching position at Victoria College’s French House while studying at the University of Toronto. She acquired a B.A. in 1933, an M.A. in 1935 and a Ph.D. in 1946, the first woman faculty member to gain one. As a Professor of French at Victoria University, she conducted courses in the study of French-Canadian authors, and Quebec’s place in la francophonie. At the same time she supported the teaching of theatre, and in her later years became a model, posing for a variety of advertising campaigns, including one for The Bank of Montreal.

Rièse was a member of numerous organizations including Chairman of the Canadian Swiss Cultural Association, Honourary President of the Alliance Française, and founder and President of the French Salon in Toronto. She was also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in France (1971), the Officier d’Académie (1946), the Officier d’Instruction Publique, Officer of the Order of Canada, and Dame of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. She also received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters degree from Victoria University in 1987.

Rièse’s publications include L’Ame de la Poésie Canadienne Française (anthology) and Les Salons Littéraires féminins du Second Empire à nos jours (1962). She wrote many articles and reviews for French Canadian and French American journals, and journals in France.

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Victoria University Library - Special Collections

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