[UPDATE] February 27-28th, 2014 Mardi Gras Conference- Masking the Self: Secrets, Disguise, and Mysteries

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Louisiana State University English Graduate Student Association

The 24th annual Mardi Gras Conference invites scholars to investigate discourses on secrecy, anonymity, rumor, masking/masquerading, and mysterious places in literature and writing--along with discovering the hidden treasure in the king cake.

Masquerading, secrets, and intrigue feature prominently as themes of the Carnival celebration from Venice to New Orleans. In Venice, elaborate Carnival masks enable revelers to celebrate in disguise, while in New Orleans, the tradition continues with many masked krewes. For these krewes, not only is the identity of their king unknown by the public, the theme of their parade remains a guarded secret until the day of the event, creating an air of mystery and suspense.

By examining the long tradition of Carnival, masques, and masquerading, we can better understand the interplay among masks, identity, and assumed personas. This is important and relevant today as we continue to role-play, apply makeup to our faces, and even "pass," as students, teachers, lovers, stereotypes, radicals, women, men, characters, and sheer possibility.

Please submit an abstract that speaks to one or several of the following themes:

• Carnival/carnivalesque and masquerades
• Identity, anonymity, and masks
• Stolen identities and multiple personalities
• Costuming, makeup, and disguise
• Racial masking and gender performance
• Passing, acting, and role-play
• Masques and fictive/idealized selves
• Secrets, codes, and clandestine societies
• Places of intrigue – the court, royal coteries, courthouses, country estates, and cities – and games of thrones
• Mysterious/gothic spaces – abbeys and castles
• The criminal, the hidden, and the forbidden
• Rumors, whispers, and slander

Both scholarly and creative presentations (papers, fiction, roundtable discussions, performances, videos, etc.) are welcomed. For scholarly papers and creative works, please submit an abstract of 250 words along with a working title as an attachment, in addition to your contact information, including name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email address, and phone number.

Maximum presentation time: 20 minutes

Keynote speaker: Dr. Henry Abelove

Henry Abelove was educated at Harvard College (A. B.,'66) and at Yale University (Ph.D.,'78). During his career as a university teacher, he has belonged to departments of History, of English, and of American Studies. He has taught at Yale University, Brown University, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University --where he spent most of his career -- and Harvard University, where in 2012 he served as the F. O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality. Now retired from full-time teaching, he is the Willbur Fisk Osborne Professor of English, Emeritus, of Wesleyan University. Abelove has authored two books – The Evangelist of Desire: John Wesley and the Methodists (Stanford University Press, 1990) and Deep Gossip (University of Minnesota Press, 2003) – and he has co-edited two others – Visions of History (Pantheon, 1983) and The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (Routledge, 1993).

Please send submissions to mardigrasconference2014@gmail.com with the subject line "Mardi Gras 2014 Submission." Although late submissions may be considered, the preferred deadline for submissions is Monday, December 16, 2013. Questions may be directed to the conference organizers, Christie Mills Jeansonne and Cristina Rosell.