Anthropology PhD Student, Erin Segura, Preserves Stories From The Past To Promote Language Learning For The Future
“Louisiana French Oral Histories: témoignages du passé, tremplins vers l’avenir” (LFOH) is a project that Erin Segura, an Anthropology PhD student, began developing after her first two years of teaching Louisiana French at LSU and guiding students through Oral History interviews with native speakers. She found the recordings to be fascinating and to contain rich information on the way that Louisiana French is spoken, and wanted to find a way to make them more readily available to the public. We can reasonably estimate that in the next 50 years, there will be virtually no remaining native speakers of Louisiana French, so it is crucial that we empower heritage speakers to take up the torch by creating the resources that will enable them to do so. The interviews are preserved in perpetuity in LSU Libraries T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History (the Center), the largest and most comprehensive Oral History repository in the state of Louisiana, and one of the largest in the South. Thanks to funding from the Center as well as the College of Humanities & Social Sciences and La Fondation Richard Guidry, she was able to transcribe and translate over 50 interviews in the summers of 2020 and 2021, many of which can also be found on the LFOH website. Erin is especially inspired by and grateful to Dr. Adelaide Russo, Amanda Lafleur, Jennifer Cramer and Cathy Luquette for their assistance with this project. She intends to continue working in the domains of Oral History, linguistics and Louisiana cultural traditions throughout the duration of her PhD studies.