Scholars invited to submit proposals for Louisiana Studies Conference

The Louisiana Studies Conference committee is accepting presentation proposals for the upcoming conference, which will take place Sept. 24-25. Presentation proposals on any aspect of the 2021 conference theme “Heroes, Saints, and Outlaws,” as well as creative texts by, about and/or for Louisiana and Louisianans, are sought for this year’s conference. The 13th annual conference will be held in a virtual format via Microsoft Teams.

“Although we are especially interested in proposals that deal with the theme of Heroes, Saints, and Outlaws, all papers and creative writing that address any aspect of Louisiana studies are welcome,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and professor of English at Northwestern State University. “Proposals are being solicited for 15-minute presentations from scholars at all career stages as well as graduate students. Creative work (creative non-fiction, short fiction and poetry) is welcome. Undergraduates are invited to submit, provided they are working with the guidance of a trained scholar.”

All undergraduate presenters under 18 years of age must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian. Conference registration is free for all faculty, staff and students affiliated with Bossier Parish Community College, the Louisiana Scholars’ College, the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and Northwestern State University, as well as State and National Park Service personnel situated in Natchitoches Parish.

Abstracts of 300 words maximum for scholarly proposals and creative writing should be sent as e-mail attachments to Rasmussen at Presentations should run no longer than 15 minutes.

Proposals should include a separate cover page with the scholar’s name, affiliation, mailing and e-mail address and the title of the presentation. E-mails should be entitled “Louisiana Studies Conference Submission.”

“We will send an e-mail acknowledgement of having received each abstract within one week of having received it, “Rasmussen said. “If you do not receive an acknowledgment, please resend your submission as we may not have received it. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2021. Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by June 15, 2021 if not before.”

This interdisciplinary conference will be accepting proposals from the following disciplines: American studies, anthropology, architecture, archival studies, communications, craft, creative writing, criminal justice, cultural studies, cultural tourism, dance, design, education, English and literary studies, environmental studies, ethnic studies, fashion design, film studies, fine arts, folklore, gender studies, geography, heritage resources, history, interior design, journalism, linguistics, media studies, museum studies, musicology, music performance, philosophy, photography, political science, preservation studies, psychology, queer studies, religious studies, Romance languages, social work, sociology, theatre and vernacular architecture.

Read broadly, scholars may consider the following possibilities for presentation topics relating to the theme “Heroes, Saints, and Outlaws.” The following list of suggestions is not meant to be comprehensive.

NOTE: Louisiana, its cultures, history, literature, peoples, places, etc. should be an intrinsic aspect of the proposed presentation. For example, “thematic motifs in Southern literature” in itself would not be an appropriate presentation topic proposal for the Louisiana Studies Conference, while “thematic motifs in 21st century Louisiana short fiction” or “thematic motifs in the contemporary legends of Evangeline Parish” would both be highly appropriate.

Acceptable topics are as follows.

Bonnie and Clyde
The Cajun Navy
Charlene Richard
Civil Disobedience
Culture Heroes
Filmic Representations
Folk Heroes
Frontline Heroes
Liminal Figures
Memorials, Monuments, and Murals
The Neutral Strip or “No Man’s Land”
Sports Heroes and Legends
Traiteurs and other Healers
Unsung Heroes

A selection of scholarly and creative work presented at the conference will be solicited for publication in the Louisiana Folklife Journal, a peer reviewed academic journal produced by the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University. Rasmussen is general editor. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University:

Conference co-chairs are Dr. Lisa Abney, faculty facilitator for Academic Research and Community College Outreach and professor of English, Northwestern State; Jason Church, materials conservator, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training; Dr. Charles Pellegrin, professor of history and director of the Southern Studies Institute, Northwestern State;

Rasmussen and Sharon Wolff, CA, assistant archivist at the Cammie G. Henry Research Center at Northwestern State.

The Conference is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center and the Northwestern State University College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research.

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