(November 13, 2013)

Le Tintamarre back in circulation at Centenary

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's French language newspaper, Le Tintamarre, recently released its Autumn 2013 issue, the first of the year. Tintamarre is the only French language newspaper in the United States operated and written by students.

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Centenary's French language newspaper, Le Tintamarre

The student-run newspaper began over 18 years ago. For many years, it was the last French language newspaper in Louisiana, giving voice to the state's French-speaking population. One year saw six versions of the paper, each with a print run of 50,000. Subscribers came not only from Louisiana but also France, Canada, Belgium, Japan, Australia, and throughout the United States.

Dr. Dana Kress, Professor of French, is responsible for founding and the continued publication of the newspaper, acting as its editor-in-chief.

"The students edit it, and I essentially work for them," said Dr. Kress. "They have the final word on what goes into it though I do help with corrections. The French paper can have many editors at once—each one in charge of a different edition of the newspaper. If five students want to edit it, then there will be five different newspapers. A lot of students have used Tintamarre as a centerpiece in their portfolios."

The success of the paper over the years eventually led to the publication project, Les Editions Tintamarre, a press dedicated to the original printing and re-printing of American works written in any language other than English. These publications include more than 50 books.

"The name (Tintamarre) had a double meaning," said Dr. Kress. "A Tintamarre in standard French is a sort of cacaphony. In Louisiana, it is a parade that goes through town, people join it as it passes their house, and everyone makes noise beating on pots and pans. When the parade arrives downtown, there is a town dance. The newspaper works a bit of the same way. The students all beat their own 'drums' (their articles), and we bring them all together to make the Tintamarre, our celebration."

French influence is a rich part of both Louisiana and Centenary's heritage. Since the arrival of the French explorers, France has been a historic partner of Louisiana. Centenary's ties with France go back to its very first professor—a professor of French. Centenary recently announced a new initiative to promote those ties, Centenary in Paris. Centenary in Paris is an August segment in which all first-year Centenary students in fall 2014 will begin their college experience with immersive study in Paris, France.

November 8-14 is National French Week — a time to celebrate the French language and French-speaking cultures which are found on all continents.