Title page for ETD etd-04192012-162611

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cashell, Mary Florence
URN etd-04192012-162611
Title Literary Expressions of Creole Identity in Alfred Mercier's L'Habitation Saint-Ybars and Johnelle
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department French Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Yeager, Jack Committee Chair
Jensen, Katharine Committee Member
Ngandu, Pius Committee Member
Peters, Rosemary Committee Member
Kennedy, Gerald Dean's Representative
  • Alfred Mercier
  • Creole
  • Louisiana
  • identity
  • race
  • gender
  • language
Date of Defense 2012-03-23
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation examines nineteenth-century Louisianan author Alfred Mercierís 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 Mercierís works articulate a hybrid identity that is neither French nor American but rather a multicultural construct. The first chapter examines the nineteenth-century Creole communityís problematic positioning between French and American cultures. Chapters two, three, and four center on two of Mercierís 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 Mercierís representations take into account the multiplicity of cultures established in Creole society, contesting the perception that Creole identity can be defined singularly.
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