DEADLINE EXTENDED: 31st Annual Mardi Gras Graduate Student Conference 'Uncertain Futures'

deadline for submissions: 
January 4, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Louisiana State University - English Graduate Student Association
contact email: 



31st Annual Online Mardi Gras Conference at LSU

“Uncertain Futures: Exploring Ambiguities, Hopes and Anxieties”


Dates: Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 - Friday, February 12th, 2021


In her work Posthuman Knowledge (2019), Rosi Braidotti asks: “How should we describe that sinking feeling at the thought of the unsustainability of our future: Post-anthropocentric nausea? Extinction-attraction syndrome? Terrestrial delirium? Global obscenities overload? No country for any human?” During this unusual and unprecedented present moment, we invite you to investigate the uncertainties of our futures together in the online 31st Annual English Graduate Student Association’s Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State University. The annual Mardi Gras Conference takes place every year around the time of Mardi Gras; however, this year, carnival celebrations might look a little different. The current ambiguity of the present invites us now to speculate about the possible perils and hopes of our contemporary moment as well as our futures. By connecting our pasts to our futures, we ask: Is there a chance of restoration and social unity? Or are our futures really as dark as they seem? 


The 31st Annual Mardi Gras Graduate Student Conference seeks to explore a variety of discourses on social issues such as race, gender, the environment, class, sexuality, as well as the uncertain future of the university amidst Covid-19. We encourage submissions that explore fears and hopes towards the future as they relate to literature, film, theatre, art, history, music, pedagogy, new media and pop culture. We also encourage submissions of thematically related panels, including panels showcasing creative work.  


Keynote speakers:  

This year we are excited to welcome three keynote speakers: Dr. Christopher Newfield (University of California, Santa Barbara), Dr. Amy Clukey (University of Louisville), and Professor Catherine Ramírez (University of California, Santa Cruz). On February 10th, Dr. Amy Clukey will speak on the intersections of Southern studies and Science Fiction. Dr. Clukey is working on the forthcoming edited collection Speculative Souths. Further, on February 11th, Dr. Christopher Newfield will discuss the future of the university and education. As graduate scholars, we are excited to hear more about this issue. Lastly, but certainly not least, on February 12th, Professor Catherine Ramírez will talk about Chicanafuturism and her new work on assimilation and Latinx futures in America. Dr. Ramírez extensively researches border studies, Chicano studies, and Critical Race Theory. 


This year, the virtual conference will take place online via Zoom from February 10-12th, 2021. Individual proposals for 15-minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 300-500 words. Abstracts are due by January 4th, 2021. 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 your abstracts/proposals to Zita Hüsing and Anna Bills at