15th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
contact email: 

The 15th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference will be held September 23, 2023, at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. The conference committee is now accepting presentation proposals for the upcoming conference. Presentation proposals on any aspect of the 2023 conference theme “Louisiana Works,” as well as creative texts by, about, and/or for Louisiana and Louisianans, are sought for this year’s conference.

Although we are especially interested in proposals that deal with the theme of Louisiana Works, 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 (film, 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.) Registration for Conference participants will be $50.

Abstracts (300 words max.) for scholarly proposals and creative writing should be sent as e-mail attachments to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu. Presentations should run no longer than 15 minutes.

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: 2023 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 31, 2023. Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by August 15, 2023, 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 of Louisiana Works. 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.

Academic Work(s)

Agriculture and Rural Work

Archival Work

Artists and Artworks

Branding and Marketing Louisiana

Building Louisiana

Class and Work

Combating the Louisiana Brain Drain

Creative Work

Cultural Work

Depictions of Work

Economies (Cultural, Educational, Financial, Geographic, Historical, Tourism, etc.)

Education and Work

Exploited Work and Workers

Folk, Culture, Labor, and Literary Heroes

The Future of Work in Louisiana

Gendered Work and Workers

Labor History

Labor in Louisiana Literature

Literary Work(s)

Louisiana Leaders, Pioneers, and Visionaries

Memorials, Monuments, and Murals

Music(al) Works

Occupational Folklore and Narratives

Occupational Psychology


Professions and Professionals

Progress, Successes, and Milestones

Public Works

Race and Work

Religious and Spiritual Work(s)


Social Work



Vacations: Leisure Time and Recreation

Vernacular Occupations

What Works in Louisiana

Work and the Environment

Work on Film

Working Class Louisiana

WPA Projects in Louisiana

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://www.nsula.edu/folklife/louisianastudies/.

Conference Co-chairs:

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

Jason Church, Chief, Technical Services, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

Daniel Gordy, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and English, Northwestern State University

Dr. Charles Pellegrin, Professor of History and Director of the Southern Studies Institute, Northwestern State University

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

The Conference is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Department of English, Languages, and Cultural Studies, and the Northwestern State University College of Arts and Sciences.