Acadiens, Cadjins, and Cadiens: Exploring How Cajun Identity Is Depicted and Negotiated in Une fantaisie collective

  • Author / Creator
    Bailer, Ashley D
  • This thesis investigates how Cajun identity, linguistic, cultural, ethnic, or otherwise, is depicted in the collection of theatrical pieces by Le Théâtre Cadien: Une fantaisie collective: Anthologie du drame louisianais cadien. It examines portrayals of Cajuns by analyzing variations in spelling and contextualizing the use of a phonetic orthography as an act of dialect writing. Through an analysis of the representation of the written word, this thesis establishes links between how that non-conventional spelling contributes to a character’s classification as Cajun. It then investigates the relationship between Cajun French, standard French, and English in the plays. These three languages are inspected in the orthography used as well as in the content of characters’ dialogues. Such a discussion contributes to an exploration and understanding of how identity is established and negotiated across the generations depicted. This is notably achieved by comparing the various depictions of Cajun culture, way of life, and language present in the anthology. Characters’ dialogues on Cajun identity contribute to an understanding of how Cajuns are distinguished from other French speakers in their respective plays. Finally, this research contextualizes Une fantaisie collective as ethnic theatre and examines how depictions of social problems and the Cajun way of life contribute to a conceptualization of Cajun identity. Overall, this thesis has found that in spite of the multitude of different ways that Cajuns are represented and that Cajun identity is negotiated in Une fantaisie collective, this collection of literary works still distinguishes French-speaking Cajuns as unique from other Francophones in Louisiana.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.