Since its founding nearly one hundred years ago, the Columbia Maison Française has played a vital role in fostering intellectual and cultural exchange between France, the United States and the French-speaking world. The mission of the Maison Française is to promote interest in French and Francophone culture, history, literature, politics and society, to foster innovative scholarship, to enable exchange across disciplines and schools at Columbia and beyond, and to contribute to international and intercultural understanding.
Directed since September 2009 by Shanny Peer and guided by a distinguished Advisory Board chaired by Paul LeClerc, the Maison Française works closely with Columbia's distinguished French Department and interdisciplinary Center for French and Francophone Studies. It also partners with other departments, schools and programs at Columbia University and with cultural, educational and policy organizations in New York City.
Housed in historic Buell Hall, the Maison Française provides a gathering place and public forum for students, scholars, business leaders, policy-makers and anyone seeking a better understanding of France, Europe, and the French-speaking world. Activities hosted by the Maison Française include lectures, conferences, film screenings, seminars and salons, exhibits, a book club and café conversation, receptions, and special events. Student groups also organize events and informal gatherings at the Maison Française.