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Title: The neutral French of Mi'kma'ki : and archaeology of Acadian identities prior to 1755
Author: Fowler , Jonathan
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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In the 1630s, French colonists began to populate the shores of the Bay of Fundy in what is now Nova Scotia, on Canada's East Coast. In time they would become a distinct ethnic group: the Acadians. This research offers a novel explanation concerning when and how Acadian ethnogenesis occurred, and suggests a very different timeline and process to those which readers of this history are familiar. Focusing on the history and archaeology of Grand-Pre, one of the colony's largest settlements, my argument asserts that conventional understandings of Acadian ethnogenesis have been severely distorted by romanticism, nationalist historiography, - and politically-motivated myth-making. While scholarly efforts in recent decades have been conscious of this fact, and have treated the subject with much greater sophistication, the study remains both under theorized and unduly restricted in evidentiary scope. The present effort takes a multi-disciplinary approach, bringing insights from social theory concerning ethnicity to bear on this historical question. Critically, the problem of Acadian identity formation is situated within local and material contexts that would have been familiar to the colonial inhabitants themselves: seigneurie, parish, farm, and family village. The analysis is also very consciously situated within an Aboriginal environment, for despite the grand claims of imperial cartographers, the overlapping and competing colonies of Acadie and Nova Scotia remained largely Aboriginal in character throughout the period that concerns us. This was 'Mi'kma'ki', the land of the Mi'kmaq, a fact of considerable importance to what follows. 1
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available