Mar 4: Mathers Museum Presents Dr. John Laudun on the Material Culture of Mardi Gras

kreweThe Matter of Mardi Gras: How People Use the Tangible Things of this World to Create the Intangible

Tuesday, March 4 || 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Mathers Museum of World Culture
416 N. Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47408

The Mermentau Mardi Gras, the Krewe de Foux (crew of fools), as they call themselves, traverse the small corner of the south Louisiana landscape known as Mermentau Cove. This presentation by John Laudun, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisiana, seeks to sketch a simple matrix of objects and ideas, in an attempt to understand not only how people manifest themselves in the world but also how they make their world manifest using both the ordinary and extraordinary means available to them during the particular festival moment that is Mardi Gras in the Louisiana prairies.

Dr. John Laudun, University of Louisiana

Dr. John Laudun, University of Louisiana

JOHN LAUDUN is Associate Professor of English at the University of Louisiana where he teaches courses in folklore, creativity studies, and documentary studies. He received his MA in literary studies from Syracuse University in 1989 and his PhD in folklore studies from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University in 1999. He was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow and a MacArthur Scholar at the Indiana Center for Global Change and World Peace (1993-94). His forthcoming monograph, The Makers of Things: How a Bunch of Cajun and German Farmers and Fabricators Invented a Traditional Amphibious Boat (University Press of Mississippi 2014), is the first book-length study of Louisiana material culture wherein Laudun investigates how the residents of the southern part of the state actually imagine the landscape on which they live and work.