Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Southern Studies

Department

Southern Studies

First Advisor

Catarina Passidomo Townes

Second Advisor

Ava Lowrey

Third Advisor

Kathryn McKee

Abstract

This thesis accompanies a documentary film about Swamp Pop Premium Sugarcane Sodas, a Louisiana cane sugar beverage created by Collin Cormier and John Petersen, two cousins from Lafayette, Louisiana. The two recognized the long history of sugarcane farming in Louisiana, and were inspired to feature real cane sugar from their home state in their beverages. This paper begins with an overview of research about the historical aspect of sugarcane production and continues with contextualization of the interviews with co-founders Cormier and Petersen, as well as sugarcane farmer Jessie Breaux. The accompanying film contains interviews conducted in the summer and fall of 2017, where Cormier and Petersen discuss their focus on Swamp Pop’s regional identity, why they decided to start their company, marketing, and distribution, and Breaux discusses the role of a modern day farmer and the production line of creating a commodity. This project is important for the field of Southern Studies to show how modern-day entrepreneurs looked in their own backyards, so to speak, in order to discover a product that uses the sugar of their home state—something that has been there for more than two hundred years.

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