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Barry Jean Ancelet
Barry Jean Ancelet at Band Together – a concert to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief.
Barry Jean Ancelet at Band Together – a concert to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief.
Born Church Point, Louisiana
Other names Jean Arceneaux
Education B.A. in French
M.A. in Folklore
Ph.D. in Études Créoles
Alma mater University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Université de Provence
Known for Cajun folklorist
Children 5[1]
Awards Chevalier – Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Humanist of the Year – Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
Américo Paredes Prize – American Folklore Society

Barry Jean Ancelet is a Cajun folklorist and expert in Cajun music and Cajun French. He has written several books, and under the pseudonym Jean Arceneaux he has written Cajun French poetry and lyrics to Cajun French songs.


Education and career

Born in Church Point, Louisiana, he graduated from the nearby University of Louisiana (then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana) with a bachelor's of art in French in 1974.

He received a master's of art in folklore from Indiana University in 1977, when he began teaching French at the University of Louisiana. Later he also taught folklore and Francophone studies at the university.

Ancelet obtained a doctorate in Études Créoles (anthropology and linguistics) from the Université de Provence (Aix-Marseille I) in 1984.

He co-founded the Tribute to Cajun Music in 1974, which became the annual Festivals Acadiens.

Ancelet has served as chair of UL's Department of Modern Languages and as the first director of the university's Center for Acadian and Creole Folklore — regarded as the largest compilation of media resources pertaining to these two south Louisiana ethnic groups.

He hosted the Rendez-vous des Cajuns live weekly music radio program on KRVS for more than a decade.

Honors and awards

In 2005 Ancelet was named the Willis Granger and Tom Debaillon BORSF Professor of Francophone Studies at UL.

The French government awarded Ancelet the title of Chevalier in l'Ordre des Palmes académiques, an honor reserved for those whose scholarly pursuits are deemed to contribute significantly to French culture.

In 2006, Ancelet was made a Chevalier in l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Francaise, which honors those who have made important contributions to art and literature. On receiving the award, Ancelet noted, "I thought it was a very lovely honor, but I was also sort of intrigued by the irony of being knighted apparently for spending my whole career trying to honor the culture of ordinary folks. . . . I feel it's an honor not only for myself, but the entire Cajun and Creole society that I have always been interested in exploring and celebrating and validating. I feel like I'm going to be wearing this award in the name of an awful lot of people."[2]

In 2008, he won the Américo Paredes Prize by the American Folklore Society.

In 2009, he was named Louisiana "Humanist of the Year" by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Ancelet is also a member of the l'Ordre des Francophones d'Amérique, in Quebec, Canada, a fellow of the American Folklore Society, and a fellow of the Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism at UL.


  • The Makers of Cajun Music / Musiciens cadiens et créoles (1984)
  • Cajun Music: Its Origins and Development (1989)
  • Cajun Country (Folklife in the South Series) [contributor] (1991)
  • Cajun and Creole Folktales: The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana (1994)
  • Capitaine, Voyage Ton Flag: The Traditional Cajun Country Mardi Gras (1989)
  • Cajun and Creole Music Makers: Musicians Cadians Et Creoles [contributor] (1999)
  • One Generation at a Time: Biography of a Cajun and Creole Music Festival [contributor] (2007)
  • Cadiens D'Asteur - Today's Cajuns [contributor] (1984).

As Jean Arceneaux

  • Je suis cadien (1994)
  • Suite du loup (1998)


  • 1989 - J'ai Été Au Bal (dir. Les Blank; Ancelet is one of the narrators and appears in the film)

See also


  1. ^ "A Country Mardi Gras". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  2. ^ "UL's Ancelet to Be Inducted into Elite Organization," Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.), 22 November 2006.

External links



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