There’s a lot to say about the trip down to Mobile for the Gulf South History and Humanities Conference. I will probably have another post on this conference.
In this post created without a working p.c. I am just introducing the paper with it’s opening words and showing a little indication of the trip. Here are the words:
Emerging Views: The Reemergence of American Identity in Postwar Acadiana and the SONJ Documentary Projects
In the twenty minutes I have allotted to me I wish to cover some essential points; these listed
points make up the entire argument of this paper.
1. The Cajuns were, as the Acadian people, a preexisting people with a history in
Louisiana before the Louisiana Purchase. They also had a relationship with New England
which predates the founding of the Republic of the United States of America. Their
greatest injury was largely planned in New England and their greatest poetic portrayal
was written there after the founding of our republic.
2. Through the American Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812 and a
variety of events related to the Civil War they acquired a strong identity as Americans in
the 1840s and on into the 1860s. This is the period of emergence of American identity
among the Acadian people as they were also becoming the Cajun people in some ways
and remaining the Acadian people in other ways. The specific Louisiana term was part of
their Americanization process.
3.They lost that identity almost entirely except in public, legal and formal ways by 1875.
This happened through through a variety of significant causes to a significant degree.
This is what I call a process of alienation.
4.The World War Two period helped them to recover their American identity.
5. The SONJ projects capture that reemerging identity and demonstrate the leadership of
Oil in forming a new American identity in which they would participate.
6.Louisiana Story and the SONJ projects brought Americans together in that new
identity. This is an identity that was in particular flux during the postwar period.