8th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference

Shane  Rasmussen's picture
Call for Papers
September 16, 2016 to September 17, 2016
Louisiana, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Oral History, Popular Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

The 8th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference will be held September 16-17, 2016 at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The Conference Committee is now accepting presentation proposals for the upcoming conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Sacred Louisiana.”

Although we are especially interested in proposals that deal with the theme of Louisiana Cultural Crossroads, all papers, creative writing, and short performances (dance, music, or theatric) that address ANY aspect of Louisiana studies are welcome. Proposals are being solicited for fifteen 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. Registration for Conference participants will be $40.

Abstracts (300 words max.) for scholarly proposals, creative writing, films, and short performances (dance, music, or theatric) should be sent as e-mail attachments to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu. Presentations should run no longer than 15 minutes. Briefly detail the audio / visual tools (laptop, projection screen, data projector, DVD or VCR player, etc.) or space (the stage in the Magale Recital Hall will be provided for short performances) your presentation will require, if any.

Please include a separate cover page with your name, affiliation, mailing and e-mail address, and the title of your 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. If you do not receive an acknowledgment please resend your submission as we may not have received it. The deadline for submissions is July 18. Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by July 31, 2016 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, consider the following possibilities for presentation topics relating to the theme Sacred Louisiana. The following list of suggestions is not meant to be comprehensive.

NOTE: Presentations on all religions are welcome, including non-institutional spiritual pathways.

American Indian Religious Traditions


Conversion Narratives

Folk Congregations


Holy Figures

Louisiana Icons and Iconography

Louisiana Pilgrimages

Louisiana Saints


Mythic Louisiana

Old World Traditions

Preaching Styles

Preserving Sacred Spaces

Religion and Educational Curriculums

Religious Foodways

Religious Humor

Revivals and Call Downs

Sacred Architecture

Sacred Crossroads

Sacred Music in Louisiana

Sacred Sites

Secular and Sacred Artifacts

Southern Church Culture

Spiritual Identities

Spiritual Texts


The Secular Made Sacred (and/or vice versa)

Vernacular Religion

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, Northwestern State University, General Editor, Dr. Shane Rasmussen. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: https://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu/.

Conference Co-chairs:

Dr. Lisa Abney, Faculty Facilitator for Academic Research and Community College Outreach and Professor of English, Northwestern State University

Jason Church, Materials Conservator, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Dr. Charles Pellegrin, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern State University

Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and Associate Professor of English, Northwestern State University

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

Contact Info: 

Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Conference Co-chair


(318) 357-4332

Contact Email: