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Why French?



J.K. Rowling

Before she became one of the most popular writers of our times, Joanne Rowling studied French and Classics at Exeter University in England, and spent a year in Paris. She started writing the Harry Potter series while she was waiting for a train to London, and finished the first volume after settling in Scotland with her daughter. It is her publisher who asked her to replace her first name with initials on the book cover, fearing that a woman’s name would be bad for sales. The seven volumes of the adventures of Harry Potter, widely translated, shattered records for the number of books sold and gave millions of people the desire to read. J.K. Rowling is also a philanthropist and is involved in a variety of charity enterprises, especially ones helping children. Her official website:




Naaila Sangrar

Naaila studied in French immersion in Lindsay, Ontario. After completing highschool, Naaila came to McMaster University from which she graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in French literature. Naaila also has a Common Law degree from the University of Windsor, where she took part in the Laskin competition, a bilingual law competition. A Member of  the Law Society of Upper Canada since 2010, she pleaded cases in front of the Small Claims Court, the Ontario Court of Justice, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. While continuing to practice the law full-time, Naaila came back to McMaster University’s French Department as a part-time Master’s student. She can be reached at the firm RZCD : .




Angela Davis, Civil Rights activist

Angela Davis is a Philosophy professor at the University of California Santa Cruz and is also internationally renowned for her activist work in human rights. During the 1970s, she was a member of the Black Panthers – an organization fighting for the rights of African-Americans – and spent time in prison. She became a symbol of the struggle for racial equality and is still active today, fighting for an antiracist and egalitarian world, as well as to abolish the prison system.  In the 1960s, she was one of the first black female students at Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, where she completed a B.A. in French; she was particularly interested in Jean-Paul Sartre’s ideas and in French Existentialist thought.