Skip to main content

2022 CASE Festival Call for Papers

The Margaret Walker Center invites proposals for papers, presentations, and panels for the hybrid 16th Annual Creative Arts & Scholarly Engagement (CASE) Festival, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 8 & 9, 2022. The 2022 CASE Festival will focus on music through the broad theme of Past, Present, & Future: A Legacy in Music.

Proposals must be submitted by Monday, March 28, 2022.

This year, CASE will host a discussion with Mississippi music legends Cassandra Wilson, Nellie Mack, and Rhonda Richmond, as well as performances by the JSU Department of Music. Although the focus is on music, the organizers welcome proposals from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on any topic.

As a continuing consequence of COVID-19, the Spring 2022 CASE will be a hybrid event: held both in person on the JSU campus and virtually via the MWC’s Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom platforms. Additional info regarding the virtual format and event registration will be shared in the new year.

Proposal submissions should be 250-500 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

For more information, contact the Margaret Walker Center ( or 601-979-3935) or the Conference Coordinators, Dr. helen crump ( and Dr. Robert Luckett (

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 17, and present their papers during the CASE Festival on Saturday, April 9.

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. As a former staff member of Margaret Walker’s Black Studies Institute (today the Margaret Walker Center), Dr. Derby contributed to some of the groundbreaking conferences hosted at Jackson State that served as inspiration for the CASE Festival, and she created this award to inspire others to give back. Students must present their artwork during the CASE Festival on Saturday, April 9, to be eligible for the award.

Winners for all awards will be announced during the Closing Ceremony for the 2022 CASE Festival.

This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency; the Greater Jackson Arts Council; and in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.