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The 32nd Annual Mardi Gras Conference

Welcome to this year’s Mardi Gras Conference! The 32nd Annual Mardi Gras Conference considers the relationship between environments and communities. The event will feature Black Earth Institute Senior Fellow Ann Fisher-Wirth as a Keynote speaker on February 25th (tomorrow) at noon!

How to Attend

All panels being held on Zoom (indicated by a Z next to the panel name) must be attended on Zoom.

All in-person panels (indicated by an IP next to the panel name) may be attended over Zoom or in person. Keynote speaker panels can be attended over Zoom or in person.

All in-person events will be held at the
Louisiana State Women’s Center, located
at 5 Union Square Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

Masks are required for all presenters and attendees
at in-person events.

All Zoom events can be found here:

Meet the Keynote Speakers

Sarah Franzen: Sarah combines cultural and visual anthropology to explore agricultural systems, rural development, and community organizing. Her research focuses particularly on African American cooperatives and rural development in the southeastern US. Franzen’s scholarship combines a focus on agricultural production with visual and digital methodologies to bring forth the stories, experiences, and perspectives of farmers. She has worked in the US, UK, and Africa, and she has a BA from Colorado State University, an MA from the University of Manchester, and a PhD from Emory University.

Ann Fisher-Wirth: Ann’s sixth book of poems is The Bones of Winter Birds (Terrapin Books, 2019). Mississippi, her fifth, is a poetry/photography collaboration with the photographer Maude Schuyler Clay (Wings Press, 2018). With Laura- Gray Street, Ann coedited The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity UP, 2013, third printing 2020). She is a senior fellow of The Black Earth Institute; has had residencies at The Mesa Refuge, Djerassi, Hedgebrook, and CAMAC, France; and has received numerous awards for her work, including a Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Award, two Mississippi Arts Council Poetry Fellowships, a Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, a Rita Dove Poetry Award, and fifteen Pushcart nominations. Ann was the 2017 Poet in Residence at Randolph College and has had senior Fulbrights to Switzerland and Sweden. She is a Professor of English and directs the Environmental Studies program at the University of Mississippi.

Ajla Dizdarević: Ajla is a Bosnian-American who writes about the Balkan diaspora and how shame functions historically and in a contemporary context. She is currently working as an editor in Belgrade, Serbia.

Nicole Klostermann: Nicole Klostermann is a writer and theatre artist living in Madison, Wisconsin. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa.

Skyler Arden Barnes: Skyler Arden Barnes grew up in Kansas City. She holds a BA
in English & Creative Writing with a publishing concentration from the University of Iowa. She got her driver’s license at the age of 21. She has yet to own a car. Her work has been featured with or is forthcoming in: Eclectica Magazine, 86 Logic, Serendipity Literary Journal,
Fools Magazine, earthwords, among others. She resides in Iowa City.


All times listed are in Central Time

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

9:00-9:45 AM         Exploring Ecological Crisis and Wonder (Z): An Embodied Ecology of Wonder in John Clare’s Cloud Sonnets -Lucien Darjeun Meadows + Poising towards the Chthulucene: The Becoming of an Interspecies Community through Birds, Intimacy, and Literature -Iris Zechner [moderator Rebecca Stobaugh]

10:00- 10:45 AM         Technology, Movement, and Definitions of Ecology (Z): De/Constructing Environment and Embodying Community in Shailja Patel’s Migritude -Marietta Kosma + Biological Individuality and the Problem of Technics: A Literary Exploration -Himali Thakur [mod. Laura Creekmore]

11:00-11:45 AM         Environments, Communities, and COVID- 19 (Z): Online Coaching Practices: Directive and Non-Directive Approaches – Dumitrita-Dorina Hirtie + Green Marketing and Consumer Behavior -Zirwel Rasugu Maina [mod. Marietta Kosma]

1:00-2:15 PM         Ecological and Social Injustice in Film and Photography (Z): Post-Disaster Community in Institutional Care: Earthquakes, Children, and Their Stories in My Invincible Compass -Megumi DeMond + The (In)Hospitable South: Sunken, Trapped, and Hosted -Talon Shoemake + Kael Alford’s ‘Bottom of da Boot’:Contemporary Photography, Ecocriticism, and Community on Louisiana’s Vanishing Coast -Hailey Boutelle [mod. Lucien Darjeun Meadows]

3:00-3:45 PM         Women and the Natural World (Z): Race, Sex, and Generational Trauma in Beloved, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and Corregidora – Rebecca Stobaugh + Brides of Drought – Reetika Revathy Subramanian [mod. Dumitrita-Dorita Hirtie]

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

8:00-8:45 AM         Exploring Ecological Intimacy in Journal Writing (IP): ‘For they like to haunt familiar ground’: The Haunting Locality of Natural Community in Susan Cooper’s Rural Hours and Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals -Makayla Jenkins + From Bombay to Cork: Examining Personal Travel Writing through the Anonymous Journal of a 19th Century Irishman -Taylor Thompson [mod. Spencer Dodd]

9:00-9:45 AM         Reworking the Creative for the Future (IP): Autonomitted Theatre- A Philosophy or a Possibility? -Subbah Mir + Collective Poetics: Reimagining the Exclusion of Political Poetry and its Subsets -Alyssa Beckitt [mod. Taylor Thompson]

10:00-10:45 AM        The Body, Control, and Power in 18th and 19th Century Literature(IP): Sameul Johnson’s Rasselas and the Three-Body Problem – Spencer Dodd + ‘May the touch be poison to you’: Poison and Intimacy in Dickens’s ‘Hunted Down’ and The Mystery of Edwin Drood -Amber Jurgensen [mod. Subbah Mir]

12:00-1:30 PM        KEYNOTE (Z): Farming with Care: Considering Black farmer practices, agroecology, and Black ecologies – DR. SARAH FRANZEN

4:00-4:45 PM        Feminist Mapping (Z): What’s a Feminist Map Got To Do (Got To Do) With It?: Mapping Women’s Experience – Kaitlyn Marie Zoeller + Krista Aldrich [mod. Amber Jurgensen]

Friday, February 25th, 2022

8:00-8:45 AM        Interrogating the (Necro)Pastoral (Hybrid): Frontier Rhetoric and the Pastoral in the Kansas Poetry of Stafford, Hind, and Elliott -Tyler Sheldon (Z) + Feral Quarantimes in the Necropastoral South -Jami Kleinpeter (IP) [mod. Talia Kowalski]

9:00- 9:45 AM        The Declensionist and Diogenes (IP): Diogenes the Cynic: His Affect, His Thought -Garrett Busshart + A Modernist Narrative of Declension and an Urban Ecological Response -Kirsten Burningham [mod. Sophie Kennedy]Resources, Politics, and Community in

10:00- 10:45 AM        Hostile Environments (IP): The Pueblo Organizes Alone and Without Parties -Sarah A. V. Ellington + Landless and Lawless: UNCLOS and Climate Change -Talia Kowalski [mod. Makayla Jenkins]

12:00-1:30 PM       KEYNOTE (Z): DR. ANN FISHER-WIRTH

4:00-4:45 PM       Writing the World (IP): Landscapes and Psyches -Jodi Scott Elliott+ Failure and Other Means of Trying -Sophie Kennedy [mod. Faith Ellington]


Thank you to all the presenters, speakers, moderators, and attendees who continue to
enrich this learning community.
We would like to thank the Louisiana State University Women’s Center for hosting us, as
well as the English Department.
Thank you to our sponsor who made this event possible, the LSU Student Government, through the Programming Support and
Initiatives Fund.
– Laura Creekmore and Faith Ellington –