Carl A. Brasseaux
Carl Anthony Brasseaux (born August 19, 1951) is a retired historian of French Colonial North America, and particularly of Louisiana and the Cajun people. He helped to pioneer the field of Cajun history, and his published works on this topic represent the first serious, in-depth examination of the history of the ethnic group.
Background and education
Brasseaux was born in Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish, in south Louisiana. He grew up in the prairie Cajun town of Sunset. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He obtained his doctorate in North American studies at the Université de Paris (otherwise commonly known as the Sorbonne or La Sorbonne).
Brasseaux was director of the Center for Louisiana Studies, as well as of the Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism, both located at UL Lafayette. He was also a member of the university's history department and has served as curator of the Colonial Records Collections.
At the Center for Louisiana Studies, Brasseaux was involved with Louisiana Digital Folklore Archive. This massive collection includes the Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore — regarded as the largest compilation of media resources pertaining to these two south Louisiana ethnic groups.
Brasseaux formerly served as managing editor of Louisiana History, the publication of the Louisiana Historical Association, based at UL Lafayette. Brasseaux has also been the managing editor of Louisiana Historical Quarterly, the publication of the Louisiana Historical Society, which operates from New Orleans.
He has written fiction under the pseudonym Antoine Bourque.
In 1991, the French government awarded Brasseaux the title of Chevalier in l'Order des Palmes Académiques, an honor reserved for those whose scholarly pursuits are deemed to contribute significantly to French culture.
Brasseaux received the 2003 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the "literary intellectual heritage of Louisiana." The award was presented to him by then Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco, on November 8, 2003, at a ceremony held at the 2nd annual Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge.
Brasseaux has published more than 30 books, including:
- Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803-1877 (1992)
- Creoles of Color in the Bayou Country [with Keith Fontenot and Claude F. Oubre] (1994)
- The Founding of New Acadia: The Beginnings of Acadian Life in Louisiana, 1765-1803 (1987)
- French, Cajun, Creole, Houma: A Primer on Francophone Louisiana (2005)
- "Scattered to the Wind": Dispersal and Wanderings of the Acadians, 1755-1809 (1991)
- Stir the Pot: A History of Cajun Cuisine [with Marcelle Bienvenu and Ryan A. Brasseaux] (2005)
Brasseaux is the editor of the two-volume A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (1988), a tool for researchers in multiple fields of study.
- "Brasseaux among Top USL Honorees," Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.), 23 April 1995.
- Louisiana Writer Award