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Marquis Scholar Krystin Porter of Jamison, Pa., says dark events of the 20th century still resonate in France, where the fear of losing French culture has fueled ultra-right groups.

Porter, a graduate of Central Bucks High School East, is collaborating with Robert I. Weiner, professor of history, in Weiner’s ongoing research on the Jewish community of Dijon, France, and the contemporary French Jewish community.

She’s participating in Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholars program, in which students assist faculty members with research while earning a stipend.

“I will take the city of Dijon as representative of the French Jewish community but also look at how the small community is different from the large one in Paris,” Weiner explains. “EXCEL is an extraordinary program” that bolsters his research efforts, he adds.

Porter detects similarities between the Nazis and the more recent anti-immigrant rightists in France.

“The French fear a loss of identity, and this helped fuel the rise of the extreme-right party on the issue of immigration,” says Porter, a double major in math and international affairs, speaking of the National Front party led by Jean-Marie LePen. “I think it’s good they want to retain their culture. But it’s so deep-rooted, it gets tied to the right wing. It’s scary.

She is researching Internet sources, including newspapers and journals in both French and English, and reading books on French Judaism. She is also transcribing a taped journal that Weiner kept while in France and says she’s “learning a lot from that.”

“The issues of the Jews in France are a lot more intricate than I thought they would be,” she says.

Another Side of Krystin

She’s the music director of Cadence, Lafayette’s female a capella singing group, and a member of the Lafayette Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers. She’s a member of Alpha Phi sorority.

Categorized in: Academic News