by Leah Jackson

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,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, professor of English and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center.  

Proposals are being solicited for 15-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.  

Conference registration is free for all faculty, staff and students affiliated with Bossier Parish Community College, the Louisiana Scholars’ College, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and Northwestern State University, as well as State and National Park Service personnel situated in Natchitoches Parish.  

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

Each submission should include a separate cover page with the researcher’s name, affiliation, mailing and e-mail address, and the title of the presentation. E-mails should be entitled: 2023 Louisiana Studies Conference Submission. Individuals will receive an e-mail acknowledgement of having received each abstract within one week of submission. Scholars who do not receive an acknowledgment should resend the submission.  

The deadline for submissions is June 15. Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by July 1, 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:

Conference Co-chairs are as follows.  

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.  


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