La. Studies Conference seeks papers focused on “Supernatural Louisiana”


NATCHITOCHES – The conference committee for the 14th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference is accepting presentation proposals for the upcoming conference.  Presentation proposals on any aspect of the 2022 conference theme “Supernatural Louisiana,” as well as creative texts by, about, and/or for Louisiana and Louisianans, are sought for this year’s conference. The conference will be held September 16-17 at Northwestern State University.

“Although we are especially interested in proposals that deal with the theme of Supernatural Louisiana, all papers, creative writing, and short performances (dance, music, or theatric) that address ANY aspect of Louisiana studies are welcome,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU.

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 at Presentations should run no longer than 15 minutes.

Scholars should include a separate cover page with their name, affiliation, mailing and e-mail address, and the title of the presentation. E-mails should be entitled 2022 Louisiana Studies Conference Submission. NSU will send an e-mail acknowledgement of having received each abstract within one week of having received it. Scholars who do not receive an acknowledgment, should resend their submission.

The deadline for submissions is July 31. Accepted presenters will be notified via e-mail by August 15, 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 “Supernatural Louisiana.” 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.

Other topics are listed as followed.


Charlene Richard

The Chupacabra

Conversion Narratives

Culture Heroes

The Feu Follet

Folk Heroes


Ghost Hunting

Ghost Stories

Ghost Tours

Gothic Louisiana

The Grunch

Hagiographic Narratives

Hauntings and Haunted Spaces



Liminal Figures

Louisiana Cryptid Zoology

Marie Laveau


Memorials, Monuments, and Murals


Mythic Louisiana

The Rougarou

Sacred Artifacts

Sacred Sites



The Supernatural in Louisiana Literature

The Supernatural in Louisiana TV and Film (American Horror Story, The Originals, True Blood, The Vampire Chronicles, etc.)


Traiteurs and other Healers



Vernacular Religion


Wampus Cats

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, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies, and the Northwestern State University College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research.