DEADLINE EXTENDED: 30th Annual Mardi Gras Conference at LSU

deadline for submissions: 
January 5, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Louisiana State University - English Graduate Student Association
contact email: 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Papers: 30th Annual Mardi Gras Graduate Student Conference

The Magic of Carnival: Manifesting and Interrogating Identity Through Narratives

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Christopher E. Bell

February 19-21, 2020.


The tradition of Carnival in general and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras in particular make up a vast web of narratives and celebrations surrounding individual and collective identity construction.  Our theme is inspired by the magical, binary-breaking nature of Carnival and will focus on magic, wonder, and liminality in storytelling and narrative structure in literature and media. Elements of masquerade, including costume, role reversal, mystery, and satirization of the sacred lend themselves to consideration of and escape from the boundaries of the body regarding class, gender, and even humanity. In texts from Shakespeare to Poe to American Horror Story, Carnival and the carnivalesque feature as a means of identity interrogation and manifestation.  

The 30th Annual Mardi Gras Graduate Student Conference thus seeks to explore a wide variety of discourses on magic, wonder, mysticism, discovery, identity discovery and development, race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, culture, storytelling, narrative structure and construction, the supernatural, otherness, sovereignty, power and power structures, monstrosity, otherworldliness, mythos, nation-building, fantasy, children’s stories, and other narratives of identity construction. We encourage submissions from disciplines relating to the study of literature, film, new media, history, culture, performance, rhetoric, and pedagogy. We also encourage submissions of thematically related panels, including panels showcasing creative work.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Christopher E. Bell, is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. A groundbreaking scholar in the field of popular culture and children’s media, Dr. Bell has written extensively on the ways in which race, class and gender intersect in different forms of children's media. He also serves as chair of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association’s Harry Potter Studies division as well as serving as a diversity and inclusiveness consultant for Pixar Animation Studios. Dr. Bell has recently won the distinction of Pop Culture Classroom/Denver Comic Con Popular Culture Educator of the Year, the David Letterman Award, and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness. Additionally, his TED talk about the dearth of merchandise available celebrating female superheroes, “Bring on the Female Superheros!,” has over 1.2 million views to date. 

Abstracts are due by December 18, 2019. Individual proposals for 15 minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 300-500 words. Those interested in proposing panels should include a brief description of the panel along with the names and abstracts of all panel participants.  

Please submit to Krista Barrett and Anna McGill at