Prof. Albert Valdman, the Rudy Professor Emeritus of French, Italian and Linguistics and Director of Indiana University’s Creole Institute, is being recognized at the 21st-annual Haitian Studies Association Conference this weekend at IU with a lifetime achievement award, and IU’s Creole Institute is being honored for having one of the top Creole programs. IU was the first university to teach Creole languages, and Valdman was the first to teach Haitian Creole. Universities around the globe use IU’s Creole textbooks and dictionaries. Most recently, Valdman was the head of efforts to create the most comprehensive and most complete Haitian Creole-to-English dictionary. Valdman has been an IU faculty member since 1960.
Marc Prou, current executive of the national Haitian Studies Association, and other members of the Haitian Studies Association believe he is one of the most influential people in the language’s study. “Valdman is a mentor, a former professor, he is a colleague and a longtime friend,” Prou said. “It is because of him and the work he has done to advance Haitian Creole that I am who I am today and that I am engaged in linguistic work in Creole.” He has been a pioneer in the field of innovation of Creole linguists and has guided several generations of Haitian linguists, including Prou.
About 150 people are expected to attend the conference, including many international researchers. The theme of this year’s event is “New Ecologies: Actualizing Global Contributions and Development in Haiti.”
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