What would Laura do?
Attendees at LauraPalooza 2012 will find out! Our theme addresses the many meanings of that phrase, and I’m pleased to report that a number of scholars and others have taken us up on our challenge to show us what Laura Ingalls Wilder would have done, or was known to do, in her world.
I’m ridiculously excited for LauraPalooza 2012, and I’m happy to finally be able to share with you what we have on tap. Our headliners this summer:
- Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson, will spend the day with us on Friday, July 13, and perform her one-woman show, “Confessions of a Prairie …” for us Friday night. Tickets to this event are included in your conference registration; additional tickets for non-registrants may be purchased separately for $25.
- Dale Cockrell and Dean Butler: Our favorite musicologist paired up with TV’s Almanzo Wilder for a truly unforgettable music concert performance in January, and they’ll be on hand to show us the results of their partnership.
- Linda Halpin, a Wisconsin-based master quilter and author of a book about Laura’s quilts, will present her work. We’ve been promised a quilting bee!
- Julie Williams, a professor of media history at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., will share her research on Carrie Ingalls, frontier presswoman.
We will have presentations about the food of the prairie, games of the prairie, and other leisure activities of Laura’s time. We have research presentations ranging from an examination of the Youth’s Companion to a biography of Kansas physician George Tann.
And, of course, we have our social activities: Wednesday’s Ice Cream Social at Julia Sears Hall, Thursday’s Author’s Reception (featuring live music), the Legacy Award luncheon, a Friday box lunch social for gathering in groups to talk Laura, and Saturday’s Spelling Bee. New this year? A silent auction to raise funds toward helping us achieve nonprofit status and to support our work in helping scholars and homesites.
We’ve also listened to what past attendees told us about the need for more breaks in the conference schedule, more time for socializing as groups, and an air-conditioned coach bus for those going on the Walnut Grove field trip and coming back to Mankato.
While our registration fee had to go up this year to accommodate some of these changes, we think it well worth the price of $125 for all three days of programming. And as always, LIWLRA members get 10 percent off registration, making this the perfect time to join.
See you in Mankato!