A Contested History: Creoles, Creolization, and the Future of Cultural Hybridity in the US
Thomas Hale Fick.
Louisiana's distinctive history of a tri-partite racial structure, indebted to flexible Latin ideas of race in contrast with the Anglo-Saxon or "American" binary notions of "black or white" that began to prevail after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, has made the culture and literature of the area a particularly fertile ground for looking at the dynamics of culture and identity. In this presentation I will discuss the "Creole" in Louisiana and the Gulf South, both as a term whose linguist/cultural history evokes the complex debates over nationalism, race, and identity in the US, and as a people whose actual history and literary representation provide ways of understanding US responses to the global manifestations of "Creolization." Through an examination of literary texts and legal documents, I will examine on how the "Creole" past in the Gulf South has influenced the future of Creolization and attitudes toward hybridity in the US.
Thomas Hale Fick (United States)
Southeastern Louisiana University
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)