French Colonial Mississippi Course Offered this Spring

Do the words "French Colonial Arkansas" seem foreign to you? Can you believe that Arkansas Post was founded 30 years before New Orleans? That Seminary and Jesuit missionaries squabbled over Christianization efforts along the Mississippi? Perhaps even that New Orleans Mardi Gras and a Natchez massacre could somehow be interrelated? 

This spring, through the Department of World Languages and Global Campus, individuals can enroll in WLLC 4053 The Colonial French in the Mississippi Valley. This course focuses on the French Mississippi region from 1673 when Marquette and Jolliet descended the Mississippi to the Arkansas River until the Spanish took over in 1763. 

Throughout the semester, the course will explore this fascinating regional history utilizing articles, translations and transcriptions of primary sources, as well as maps and images. Specific topics include but are not limited to: The explorations of Marquette and Jolliet, LaSalle and de Tonti, and Iberville; religious efforts of the Jesuits and the Seminary Priests from Illinois to the Lower Mississippi Valley; early Arkansas Post ancestors; encounters between French and Native Americans; opportunists such as John Law; ignorance and intolerance culminating in the Natchez Massacre, the French and Chickasaw Wars, and a view of the former through the lens of Mardi Gras; the visual expression of artist-explorers including Dumont de Montigny and Le Page du Pratz; and of course the various cultures present, the French, the Québecois, and the Native Americans.

Course activities will include discussion of the material, examination of primary source materials, paper and video response activities.  

For more information on this course, please contact Linda C. Jones at


Linda Jones, associate professor of instructional technology
World Languages, Literatures and Cultures


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