Pedagogies of race in nineteenth-century Louisiana

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Abstract

In Anne Rice’s Feast of All Saints (1979), a schoolteacher of color returns from France in the 1840s to open a school for students of color in New Orleans. Rice lists among her sources of inspiration Rodolphe Desdunes’s Nos hommes et notre histoire (1911)— about the most illustrious members of New Orleans’s nineteenth-century Creole community of color—which devotes specific praise to its schools and teachers. Sending a son to France was not specific to Creole families of color, however; in Alfred Mercier’s L’habitation Saint-Ybars (2003, first published in 1881), the eponymous planter family hires Pélasge, a republican refugee from post-Second-Republic France, as a tutor for its ill disciplined and carefree son, aptly nicknamed Démon. If France is frequently described in the
nineteenth-century French literature of Louisiana by both white and mixed-race Creole
writers as a place where the préjugés de race of Louisiana do not hold sway, a French education
also injects republican ideals à la française into American literary history.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-2017
Number of pages11
JournalNineteenth-Century Contexts
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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