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Creative Arts and Scholarly Engagement (CASE) Festival at Jackson State University

April 5 - April 6

The Margaret Walker Center invites proposals for papers, presentations, and panels for the 18th Annual Creative Arts & Scholarly Engagement (CASE) Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 5 & 6, 2024. The CASE Festival will focus on the legacy of Black women writers, and the Black Arts Movement with special guest Sonia Sanchez. 

Proposals must be submitted by Saturday, March 9, 2024.

This year, CASE will feature a keynote address by Sonia Sanchez, world-renowned poet, mother, and professor, who is known for her insights into Black culture and literature, women’s liberation, peace, and racial justice. Although the focus is on Black women writers and the Black Arts Movement, the organizers welcome proposals from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on any topic.

Proposal submissions should be 250 words, include a title and name of the participant’s school, and should fit in one of four categories:

  1. Poetry/Spoken Word (10-15-minute presentations in original storytelling or poetry, including brief comments about inspiration &/or form of the work)
  2. Visual Arts (up to 3 pieces of artwork in any media with 10-minute presentations)
  3. Written (8- to 10-page essays with 20-minute presentations)
  4. Performing Arts (10-minute dance, musical, and theatrical presentations)

In the case of panel proposals, please submit the names of the participants and provide a brief synopsis of the panel’s topic and provide individual paper or presentation proposals. To submit a proposal, please send a document in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF to mwa@jsums.edu.

For more information, contact the Margaret Walker Center (mwa@jsums.edu or 601-979-3935) or the Conference Coordinator, Dr. Robert Luckett (robert.luckett@jsums.edu).

Note that the best essay by a JSU student on the “Black experience in the American South” will receive the $1,000 Margaret Walker Annual Award. Submissions for the Margaret Walker Annual Award can be in various forms, including literary analysis, creative writing, research paper, biographical study, autobiography, and historical study. JSU students who would like to be considered for this award must submit their 8- to 10-page essays by Thursday, March 28, and present their papers during the CASE Festival on Saturday, April 6.

We will also present the annual $500 Doris Derby Visual Arts and Social Justice Award to a student at any level from any institution whose contribution best reflects this year’s CASE Festival theme in the category of visual arts, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, and crafts. Students must present their artwork during the CASE Festival on Saturday, April 6, to be eligible for the award.

Winners for all awards will be announced during the Closing Ceremony for the 2024 CASE Festival.


April 5
April 6