Identifier

etd-04192012-162611

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

French Studies

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation examines nineteenth-century Louisianan author Alfred Mercier’s novels and their roles as emblems of Francophone Creole cultural identity. During the nineteenth century following the Louisiana Purchase and subsequent anglophone influx, the French-speaking Creole population faced a cultural upheaval. Unable to completely identify as either French or American, Creoles occupied an uncertain space. This study demonstrates that Alfred Mercier’s works articulate a hybrid identity that is neither French nor American but rather a multicultural construct. The first chapter examines the nineteenth-century Creole community’s problematic positioning between French and American cultures. Chapters two, three, and four center on two of Mercier’s texts and concentrate on his depictions of race, gender, and language, respectively, while incorporating a historical perspective and establishing a literary context using works by more well-known French and francophone authors. This analysis shows that Mercier’s representations take into account the multiplicity of cultures established in Creole society, contesting the perception that Creole identity can be defined singularly.

Date

2012

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Yeager, Jack

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