Performing Francophonie: Music and Text in Modern North American-Franco Identities

(Panel)


French and Francophone / Canadian

Antoinette Williams-Tutt (Graduate Center, CUNY)

Franco identity in North America is performed, celebrated and experienced in as many different forms as there are speakers of French on the continent. Music and the texts and often hybridized French language that regularly inspire this music are similarly a diverse and pervasive part of Franco identity’s performance and patrimoine, simultaneously signifying the individual and the collective. Melodies, lyrics, beats and rhythms are always influenced by previous creations from shared local and global musical traditions, particularly in pop, folk, rap and hip hop genres that are often highly collaborative. Music lyrics in particular are a poetic language that can be influenced by or inspire other literary forms, both historical and modern. Where and how, then, are the imagined borders of Franco-American, French-Canadian, Acadian, Cajun and Québécois nationalities and their continental linguistic and cultural counterparts (Anglophone, Hispanophone, Arabophone and Amerindian, for example) crossed and connected in Franco music’s poetic language and literary counterparts?

This panel welcomes papers in English or French seeking to investigate the prevalence and relevance of popular North American Franco music and its connection to Francophone literature. In what ways do twenty-first century French-speaking North American musicians and their work influence the process of identity formation with respect to literature and poetics? At a time when identities are increasingly multiple and heritage is rarely homogeneous, how does Franco music’s poetic language reflect this globalized yet highly local process of identity construction?



This panel welcomes papers in English or French seeking to investigate the prevalence and relevance of popular North American Franco music and its connection to Francophone literature. In what ways do twenty-first century French-speaking North American musicians and their work influence the process of identity formation with respect to literature and poetics? At a time when identities are increasingly multiple and heritage is rarely homogeneous, how does Franco music’s poetic language reflect this globalized yet highly local process of identity construction?