NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street Welcomes Renowned Historian Dr. Barbara B. Diefendorf for an Interactive Discussion

NEW PALTZ, NY (August 5, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street is pleased to announce an upcoming discussion with renowned historian Dr. Barbara B. Diefendorf, author of the award-winning Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (1991, recipient of the New England Historical Association and National Huguenot Association Book Prizes). 

On Saturday, August 22, Dr. Diefendorf will be speaking on the DuBois Fort lawn (81 Huguenot Street) about the French Wars of Religion and the experience of the Huguenots in France. Rather than a traditional lecture, this event will take an informal approach, inviting guests to engage in discussion with Dr. Diefendorf and each other in an intimate setting as they enjoy hors d'oeuvres and address questions relating to the myth-making power of history, religious violence and persecution, and the Huguenots’ role in the French Wars of Religion.

“We are delighted to host such a remarkable, knowledgeable historian at Historic Huguenot Street,” said Mary Etta Schneider, Board President. “This is a unique opportunity for guests to have an academic discussion about European history and the French Wars of Religion with a historian who literally wrote the book on it. With the backdrop of the refugees’ original homes, what better place than their namesake’s historic landmark to learn of the circumstances that brought the Huguenots to New Paltz.”

The discussion will be lead and moderated by SUNY New Paltz Associate Professor of History Dr. Heather Morrison. Dr. Morrison teaches courses in European history from the Renaissance through the French Revolution and has assigned Dr. Diefendorf's publications in courses on the Reformation, Early Modern Cities, and Early Modern Europe.  

Following the discussion, Dr. Diefendorf will be signing copies of Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris. Copies of the book will be available for purchase ($49.95 + tax). The event will be catered by Bridge Creek Catering.

Dr. Diefendorf has taught European history at Boston University since 1980. She is the author of Paris City Councillors in the Sixteenth Century: The Politics of Patrimony (1983), From Penitence to Charity: Pious Women and the Catholic Reformation in Paris (2004, awarded the J. Russell Major Prize by the American Historical Association in 2005), and The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: A Brief History with Documents (2009); along with numerous journal articles and book chapters. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Camargo Foundation. She is currently working on a book about the impact of the French Wars of Religion on local communities and a series of essays on the culture of the Catholic Reformation in France.

Saturday, August 22, at 5 pm outside the DuBois Fort. Members $20; seniors and military $22; general admission $25.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today. 


Kaitlin Gallucci
Communications & Marketing Manager
(845) 255-1660