The event is being held in conjunction with the Annual Creole Heritage Day and the St. Augustine Church Fair. Scholars from throughout the United States will make presentations and hold question and answer sessions.
According to conference co-moderator Dr. Pete Gregory, people have inquired for several years about Spanish relationships to Creole culture. The Spanish culture has influenced Creole culture along with American Indian, Portuguese, French, African and other cultures. Some family names reflecting the Spanish influence include St. Denis, Ramon, Hongo, D’Ortolan, Y’Barbo, Flores, Sylvie, Balthazar and Metoyer. This symposium will bring together scholars who have concentrated on Creole culture and its national and international manifestations, especially the Spanish influences on Creole culture in Louisiana, Texas and the Caribbean.
As an interdisciplinary event, the participants in the symposium will approach Creole culture from several academic areas and from different regions of the state and the nation, said conference co-moderator Sheila Richmond. Ethnologists, archaeologists, historians, linguists, geographers and folklorists will discuss the interactions of cultures on the French-Spanish frontiers and Spanish elements still present in Creole culture in Louisiana and its neighboring regions. The Creole language, foodways, families and society all retain historical ties to Spanish colonial experiences. The sessions will explore questions pertinent to all Creole cultures with local and hemispheric implications.
Along with the daytime sessions, two special performances related to Creole culture will be held at Oakland Plantation after the conference at 6 p.m.
The Hispanic Roots of Creole Culture Symposium is sponsored by the Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. and Cane River Creole National Historical Park, National Park Service.