Introduction: Our First Issue
by Steven Riel
Our First Issue
by Steven Riel, Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to the first issue of Résonance, our new Franco-American literary e-journal. In it, you’ll find a variety of perspectives and creative takes on what it means to be Franco-American today.
Such variety aligns with our intention, and with our Drama Editor Grégoire Chabot’s original vision for Résonance. We want this journal to be an opening-up, in which we air out musty trunks in our attics that may be full of self-serving myths, and instead look within and around ourselves in 2019, during this tumultuous period in our nation’s political history. How do we understand ourselves, deeply and honestly? What do we as creative writers and artists want to explore, claim, revoke, reveal, unpack?
How can we contemplate our heritage without considering the treatment of Native Americans and the exploitation of a continent’s rich natural resources (think of the forests in Annie Proulx’s novel Barkskins), of the furrowed brows of the Huguenots or the non-Christians or our forebears’ African or Carib slaves? How do we understand ourselves alongside Haitian-Americans and their relationship with French history, language, and culture; or Latin Americans and their border to the south? The editors of Résonance also hope to include voices of Americans who descended from those who were colonized or enslaved by French colonists worldwide, and have something important to say about their relationship to our people.
To me, the focus of Résonance is not limiting. There are so many possible threads to follow, so many paths to explore. What is our particular relationship with whiteness? With capitalism? With the history of assimilation? With Canada? With France? With the French and English languages? With religious institutions? With other immigrant groups? How can such topics be explored in fresh and compelling literary works and insightful reviews?
My hope is that this e-journal will help to build and foster a virtual community of writers and artists. We are just beginning this process, and it is exciting to participate in it with other members of the editorial board and with our contributors. Together we can create something about which we can feel a growing fierté.