Call for Proposals
Through Laura’s Eyes: Imagery, Illustrations, and Impressions from the Little House
The National Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association Conference
Sponsored by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association and South Dakota State University
We invite submissions of paper, panel, and workshop proposals for review and possible acceptance for presentation at the third LauraPalooza conference, to be held on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings on July 16-17, 2015. The conference will be followed by a field trip to De Smet, South Dakota, on July 18.
The theme of this year’s conference reflects the word pictures that Laura drew for Mary when she talked, the ones that Laura created on the printed page, and the way that Helen Sewell and Garth Williams brought them to life. It capitalizes on our Brookings, South Dakota, location and the university’s relationship with South Dakota artist (and distant relative of Laura) Harvey Dunn. Potential presenters are welcome to interpret the theme as they like.
“LauraPalooza” embodies the community spirit, work ethic, and social interaction embraced by the Ingalls and Wilder families. Academic presentations mingle with ice cream socials and spelling bees. Join scholars, writers, and professionals who specialize in Ingalls and Wilder literary, historical, and cultural impacts.
Topics may include:
- Historical and cultural significance of the illustrations in the books by both Helen Sewell and Garth Williams
- The broad influence the stories have had on American popular culture in the last 75 years
- The history and imagery of the books and their cultural, educational, political, and social influences
- The preservation of American folk music, food, and handwork
- The strategic and political influence of farming and farming culture in American history
- The long-term ramifications of the 1862 Homestead Act on American culture
- The intersection of the Ingalls and Wilder families with South Dakota’s culture and history
- The ever-widening circle of Rose’s politically Libertarian belief structures
- Historical racism and its lasting effects
- New discoveries in individual research that add to the legacies of Laura, the Ingalls family, and the Wilder family
- Any other way you might interpret the legacies of the Ingalls and Wilder families
Submit your proposal in the form of a 700- to 1,000-word abstract, outlining your idea and research, by the end of the day on Rose Wilder Lane’s birthday: December 5, 2014. All proposals should include a 200-word bio as would be appropriate for the conference program. Panel proposals should include bios for all panelists and his/her topic of discussion. Workshop proposals should include an outline of the workshop curriculum and materials needed. Be sure to include all contact information.