Documenting Creole Language and Culture

Call for Proposals

“Documenting Creole Language and Culture”
Conference Dates: July 31-August 3, 2008
Location: Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, Illinois (just outside of Chicago)

Although language is an essential part of everyday life, few of us think about how vital human speech is to the transmission of thoughts and ideas. Studies have shown the strong link between language and culture; language determines how its native speakers view the world. Language allows us to share ideas, teach children about their heritage, and gives us a way to disseminate our cultural ideals.

Since language remains such a fundamental part of culture, the theme for the 2008 Creole Heritage Conference is “Documenting Creole Language and Culture.” The Creole Heritage Conference strives to bring together Creole cultural constituents and researchers to share knowledge within a relaxed setting. This unique event draws participants from across the country who have a desire to preserve and promote Creole culture. The Creole Heritage Conference seeks presentation proposals from academics, professional and community researchers who have undertaken studies in any area that relates language to a cultural component. This conference will combine a substantial scholarly component with community-oriented activities (family history exhibits, genealogy workshops, and city tours.)

In preparation for the scholarly component of the conference, we are issuing this call for papers on any topic relating to Creole people, culture, and language. While the primary focus of the conference is on the Creole people and culture of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, we also welcome contributions that examine the broader context of Creole societies to which Louisiana belongs.

In addition to individual papers, we encourage submission of proposals for panels consisting of three or four papers organized around a coherent theme and that include a panel chair. The organizers reserve the right to make changes in the overall configuration of panels.

Some topics of interest may include but are not restricted to:
• Food names and the Creole culture
• Place names in the natural environment
• Music as a way of language transmission
• Passing language on to the next generation of Creole children
• Oral history documentation of Creole elders
• Origins of Creole languages and dialects
• Language in literature
• Terminology of traditional occupations
• Language and Community
• Origins of specialized terms for material culture
• Geographic analysis of Creole languages
• Endangered language research methods
• Linguistic studies of Creole French

Please note that all presentations will be limited to 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions and answers. Presenters are required to pay the conference registration fee and are welcome to become Creole Heritage Center Members.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: January 15, 2008
Notification of Acceptance: February 15, 2008

Preferred Form of Submission: Send your abstract (500 words or less) as an email attachment in Word format to colsonj at nsula.edu. Within the body of the email message (but not on the attachment page containing the abstract), please provide the title of your submission as well as your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and full contact information, including mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.

Alternative form of submission: Send a hard copy of your abstract (500 words or less) to Janet Colson, Louisiana Creole Heritage Center, Northwestern State University, NSU Box 5675, Natchitoches, LA 71497. On a separate sheet of paper from your abstract, please provide the title of your submission as well as your name, institutional affiliation (if any), and full contact information, including mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address.

http://www.nsula.edu/creole/chicago

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