Australian Journal of French Studies

Eatin’ Tail, Suckin’ Head: Moving across the French Americas with Queer Talk about Food

Australian Journal of French Studies (2017), 54, (1), 14–21.


This article considers Cajun poetry in French since the 1960s in the context of the various migrations that have defined the French Americas. In particular, it focuses on Beverly Matherne’s 1999 bilingual poem, “Je vas vendre mon chasse-neige/Sellin’ My Snow Blowin’ Machine” in relation to the foodways that have developed over the course of the migrations that resulted in Acadians becoming Cajuns. Through queer culinary associations, Matherne not only blurs the distinction between normative and queer, she also challenges the insider/outsider distinction through which Franco-Americans have been othered and marginalized. More broadly, this article makes a case for moving French studies away from its European metropolitan centre to the New World, a move that also pushes American studies away from its standard Anglocentrism and favours understanding French as, among other things, an American language that must cease to be so marginal in American studies.

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Author details

Hayes, Jarrod