Officers & Board
Conni Castille, MA
University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Department of English (2012-2014)
Conni Castille, a Breaux Bridge native and resident, received her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Philosophy and her Masters Degree in Folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has written, directed and produced award-winning documentaries supported primarily by grants from the Louisiana Division of Arts, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the Louisiana Filmmakers Grant Fund Program. She is the Assistant Director of the Moving Image Arts Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she teaches. Castille’s hope is that her audiences leave with a new point of view, not just about Cajun or Creole culture, but about the power and worth of everyday people doing everyday things. Her documentaries include I Always Do My Collars First, Raised on Rice Gravy, King Crawfish, and T-Galop: A Louisiana Horse Story.
Keagan LeJeune, Ph.D.
McNeese State University, Associate Professor of English (2012-2013)
Keagan LeJeune is an Associate Professor of English at McNeese State University. His interests include outlaw legends and the folklore of Louisiana’s Neutral Strip. His book Always for the Underdog: Leather Britches Smith and the Grabow War examines an outlaw legend’s role in encapsulating one sawmill town’s early history.
Susan Roach, Ph.D.
Louisiana Tech University, Department of English (2012-2014)
Susan Roach received her doctorate in Anthropology (Folklore) from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph. A and an M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas. She has been involved in a variety of folklore research and projects, including fieldwork on north Louisiana folklore, curating museum exhibitions, and programming state and national folklife festivals. Her research and publications include On My Way: The Arts of Sarah Albritton, (which won the 1999 Eli Kongas Maranda award from the American Folklore Society Women’s Section), and the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project (online). From 1998-June 2009, she served as folklorist for the Louisiana Regional Folklife Program at Louisiana Tech University, covering the northeast Louisiana area funded by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. She is currently the Interim Director of the School of Literature and Language at Louisiana Tech University.
Other selected publications include “The Threads of Tradition: Quilts as Multivalent Symbols” in ReSituating Folklore: Folk Contexts and Twentieth Century Literature and Art by F. A. deCaro and Rosan Jordan, (University of Tennessee Press, 2004), “The Journey of David Allen” in Public Folklore by Baron and Spitzer (Smithsonian Institution), “The Kinship Quilt” in Women’s Folklore, Women’s Culture by Jordan and Kalick, and Gifts from the Hills: North Central Louisiana Folk Traditions.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Center for Louisiana Studies (2012-2013)
John Sharp, an Alabama native who has lived in Lafayette since 2000, received his Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Religious Studies from Auburn University and his Masters Degree in Communication and Folklore from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a storyteller and filmmaker who was recently awarded the Louisiana Filmmakers Grant by the Louisiana Economic Development. John is currently working on his first full-length documentary film, Dancehalls of South Louisiana.
C. Ray Brassieur, Ph.D.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
Brassieur’s professional experiences in the study of culture began during the mid-1970s as a field archaeologist in southwest Louisiana. By the late 1970s, his interests turned toward the study of ethnography and folklife. During the 1980s, Brassieur served as curator of the Acadian House Museum in St. Martinville (1981-1983); supervisor of the Folklife Pavilion at the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition; coordinator of projects at NSU’s Center for Traditional Louisiana Boat Building (1985-86); and programmer of folk performances for the Jean Lafitte National Park (1986-88). In 1988, Brassieur moved to Columbia, Missouri to serve as program coordinator for the MU Cultural Heritage Center. In 1992, he served as field coordinator for the Maine Acadian Cultural Survey, sponsored by the National Park Service. In 1993, Brassieur was became the first director of the State Historical Society of Missouri Oral History Program. In 1996, he served as president of the Missouri Folklore Society. In the fall of 1999, Brassieur returned to Louisiana to serve as Louisiana Regional Folklorist for the New Orleans region. While there, Brassieur taught seminars on cultural heritage conservation at UNO. He served as president of the Louisiana Folklore Society in 2001-2002. In August of 2001 Brassieur accepted his current academic appointment at the University of Louisiana. In 2007, he co-authored a book with Greg Guirard entitled, Inherit the Atchafalaya.
Joshua Caffery, Ph.D.
Episcopal School of Acadiana
Joshua Caffery, a native of Franklin, Louisiana, is a folklorist, musician, songwriter, and producer currently living in Breaux Bridge. A founding member of the Red Stick Ramblers, and a long time member of Feufollet, Caffery was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award for his work on the album En Couleurs. He is also the producer of the acclaimed Allons Boire Un Coup, an award-winning collection of Cajun and Creole drinking songs. In 2013, LSU Press will publish Caffery’s first book, Ride les Blues, a study of the 1934 Lomax recordings in south Louisiana. His scholarly interests include textual, comparative approaches to vernacular song, particularly in Louisiana, and the representation and appropriation of orality in literary texts. He is currently the Head of the English Department at the Episcopal School of Acadiana.
Frank de Caro, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University, Professor Emeritus of English
Frank de Caro, Professor Emeritus of English at LSU, lives in New Orleans. Between 1970 and 2001 he taught in both the English and Anthropology Departments at LSU, including a number of folklore courses. He received his PhD in Folklore from Indiana University. His publications include Folklife in Louisiana Photography: Images of Tradition (LSU Press, 1990), Louisiana Sojourns: Travelers’ Tales and Literary Journeys (LSU Press, 1998, with Rosan A. Jordan), Re-Situating Folklore: Folk Contexts in 20th Century Literature and Art (University of Tennessee Press, 2004, with Rosan A. Jordan), and An Anthology of American Folktales and Legends (M. E. Sharpe, 2009).
Joyce Marie Jackson, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University, Associate Professor of English
African & African American Studies Program
Associate Prof., Dept. of Geography & Anthropology
Affiliate Faculty Member, Women’s & Gender Studies
e/Prime, New Orleans (2011-2012)
Kevin McCaffrey is a filmmaker, writer, editor, and oral historian. Kevin produced a documentary for television on Acadian food culture, No One Ever Went Hungry: Cajun Food Traditions Then & Now, which is the 2012 Louisiana Humanities Documentary of the Year. His 2009 documentary television program, We Live To Eat: New Orleans’ Love Affair With Food, on foodways in New Orleans was a finalist for a James Beard Award in broadcast media. He is a regular columnist in Cultural Vistas magazine.
He is now working on a book about meat culture traditions and folklore in Cajun country to be published by the University Press of Mississippi and an online documentary video report on the current findings of scientists regarding the effects of the oil spill on the Gulf habitat.)
Solimar Otero, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University, Department of English, Baton Rouge (2011)
Solimar Otero is an Associate Professor of English and a Folklorist at Louisiana State University. Her research centers on Afro-Caribbean spirituality and Yoruba traditional religion in folklore, literature and ethnography. She is the author of Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World, which was published by the University of Rochester Press in 2010. Her current projects deal with gender and embodiment in Afro-Cuban religious practices and performances. Based on this work, she won a visiting research position at the Harvard Divinity School’s Women’s Studies in Religion Program from 2009 to 2010. She is presently co-editing a volume with historian Toyin Falola, YẸMỌJA: Water Goddess, Fluidity and Tradition, that explores the international Yorùbá deity Ye̩mo̩nja in her multiple manifestations. Dr. Otero is also at work completing her second monograph, Coming Home: Nation, Gender, and Diaspora in Afro-Cuban Religion, which investigates how the representation and expression of gender in Afro-Cuban religions affects Cuban transnationalism.
Bossier Parish Community College, Folklorist/Librarian
Adam is a folklorist/librarian living in Shreveport, Louisiana. Adam received his Master’s in Folklife and Southern Culture from Northwestern State University in 2009 and his Master’s in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University in 2011. Hoping to use his position as librarian as a platform to create a living folkways project, Adam is working on soliciting the help from the culinary arts program at his college for a multi-faceted look into traditional North Louisiana foodways.
Carolyn Ware, Ph.D.
Louisiana State University, Department of English (2012-2014)
Carolyn Ware is an Associate Professor of Folklore and English at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include the rural Cajun Mardi and other festival traditions, Croatian folklife in south Louisiana, veterinary culture, vernacular healing and belief traditions, civil rights narratives, and Louisiana folk culture in general. Before coming to LSU in 2001, she worked as a public folklorist for many years, directing the Louisiana Folklife Festival and coordinating the Pine Hills Culture Program in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Her publications include two books–Cajun Mardi Gras Masks with Carl Lindahl, and Cajun Women and Mardi Gras: Reading the Rules Backwards–and a number of journal articles. She was editor of the Louisiana Folklore Miscellany from 2008 to 2012, and is a member of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Folklife Village advisory board.