CFP: LauraPalooza 2012: What Would Laura Do?

[The call for papers for this exciting conference was posted recently on the website of Beyond Little House, an amazing resource for Ingalls-Wilder-Lane studies.]

The National Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association Conference

Sponsored by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association and the Department of Mass Media at Minnesota State University, Mankato

We invite submissions of paper, panel, and workshop proposals for review and possible acceptance for presentation at the second LauraPalooza conference, to be held on the campus of MSU, Mankato, July 12-14, 2012.

The theme of this year’s conference reflects the continuing interest in the lives and stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, particularly as related to American culture, history, values, and ideological practice. Participants may consider asking themselves, “What Would Laura Do?”

Topics may include:

  • The broad influence the stories have had on American popular culture in the last 75 years
  • The history of the books and their cultural, educational, political, and social influences
  • The renewed interest in women’s handwork as cultural artifacts of women’s history
  • The preservation of American folk music ways
  • The preservation of American food ways
  • The strategic and political influence of farming and farming culture in American history
  • The long-term ramifications of the 1862 Homestead Act on Western culture
  • The ever-widening circle of Lane’s politically Libertarian belief structures
  • Historical racism and its lasting effects
  • New discoveries in individual research that add to the Lane and Wilder legacies
  • Any other way you might interpret the legacies of Wilder and Lane.

Submit your proposal in the form of a 700- to 1,000-word abstract, outlining your idea and research, by midnight on December 15, 2011. All proposals should include a 200-word bio as would be appropriate for the conference program. Panel proposals should include bios for all panelists and his/her topic of discussion. Workshop proposals should include an outline of the workshop curriculum and materials needed.

We are also accepting proposals for presentations or programs for Camp Laura, an activity-based conference for elementary school children, running concurrently with Laurapalooza 2012. Please follow the same submission guidelines outlined above, but denote “Camp Laura” at the top of your abstract.

Be sure to include all contact information. Abstracts should be sent via email to amy.lauters@mnsu.edu, conference chair. Acceptance notifications will be sent out via email on the birthdate of Laura Ingalls Wilder: February 7. Those with accepted proposals will be expected to register for and attend the LauraPalooza 2012 conference. (Registration begins in February.)

[Find a PDF of the Call for Proposals here.]

Pre-order listing for Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

Amazon.com now has a pre-order listing for a memoir by Alison Arngrim called Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, scheduled to be published by It Books in late June 2010 (coinciding with the publication of Melissa Anderson’s memoir The Way I See It.

For more information, see the official Alison Arngrim website.

Pre-order Listing for Growing Up Mary

Amazon.com now has a pre-order listing for a memoir by Melissa Anderson, titled Growing Up Mary: A Memoir of Little House on the Prairie. The book is scheduled to be published by Globe Pequot on 15 June 2010. Looking forward to seeing it when it’s published!

UPDATED 16 DECEMBER 2009: Anderson’s book is now titled The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Time on Little House and has the following catalog description:

When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.
Melissa, as Mary, is remembered by many as “the blind sister”—and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. In Growing Up Mary, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon, who, Melissa discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Lou Gossett, Jr., Mariette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash.
In addition to stories of life on the set, Melissa offers revealing looks at her relationships off-set with her costars, including the other Melissa (Melissa Gilbert) and Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the show. And she relates stories of her guest appearances on iconic programs such as The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch.
Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, this book is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult. These are stories from “the other Ingalls sister” that have never been told.


CFP: LauraPalooza 2010: Legacies

Sponsored by the newly formed Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association and the Department of Mass Communications at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

We invite submissions of paper proposals for review and possible acceptance for presentation at the first LauraPalooza conference, to be held on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato, July 15-17, 2010.

The theme of this year’s conference, Legacies, reflects interest in the continuing influence of the lives and stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, on American culture, history, values and ideological practice. Such influence includes:

  • The broad influence the stories have had on American popular culture in the last 75 years
  • The history of the books and their cultural, educational, political, and social influences
  • The renewed interest in women’s handwork as cultural artifacts of women’s history
  • The preservation of American folk music ways
  • The preservation of American food ways
  • The strategic and political influence of farming and farming culture in American history
  • The long-term ramifications of the 1862 Homestead Act on Western culture
  • The ever-widening circle of Lane’s politically Libertarian belief structures
  • Historical racism and its lasting effects
  • New discoveries in individual research that add to the Lane and Wilder legacies
  • Any other way you might interpret the legacies of Wilder and Lane.

Submit your proposal in the form of a 700 to 1,000 word abstract, outlining your idea and research, by midnight on December 15, 2009. Be sure to include all contact information. Abstracts should be sent via email to amy.lauters@mnsu.edu, program chair. Acceptance notifications will be sent out via email on the birthdate of Laura Ingalls Wilder: February 7, 2010. Those with accepted proposals will be expected to register for and attend the LauraPalooza 2010: Legacies conference.

Information and updates about LP 2010 may be found at http://www.beyondlittlehouse.com.

Prairie Tale: A Memoir (2009)

Prairie Tale: A MemoirMelissa Gilbert’s memoir Prairie Tale will be published by Simon & Schuster on 7 June 2009!

A fascinatiating, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting tale of self-discovery from the beloved actress who earned a permanent place in the hearts of millions when she was just a child.

To fans of the hugely successful television series Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert grew up in a fantasy world with a larger-than-life father, friends and family she could count on, and plenty of animals to play with. Children across the country dreamed of the Ingalls’ idyllic life—and so did Melissa.

She was a natural on camera, but behind the scenes, life was more complicated. Adopted as a baby into a legendary show business family, Melissa wrestled with questions about her identity and struggled to maintain an image of perfection her mother created and enforced. Only after years of substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and made-for-television movies did she begin to figure out who she really was.

With candor and humor, the cherished actress traces her complicated journey from buck-toothed Laura “Half-pint” Ingalls to Hollywood starlet, wife, and mother. She partied with the Brat Pack, dated heartthrobs like Rob Lowe and bad boys like Billy Idol, and began a self-destructive pattern of addiction and codependence. Left in debt after her first marriage, and struggling to create some sense of stability, she eventually realized that her career on television had earned her popularity, admiration, and love from everyone but herself.

Through hard work, tenacity, sobriety, and the blessings of a solid marriage, Melissa has accepted her many different identities and learned to laugh, cry, and forgive in new ways. Women everywhere may have idolized her charming life on Little House on the Prairie, but Melissa’s own unexpectedly honest, imperfect, and down-to-earth story is an inspiration.

New Novel about Almanzo Wilder?

Amazon.ca has added a listing for an untitled Almanzo Wilder novel to be written by Heather Williams and published in August 2011. Heather Williams, the pen name of Tui Sutherland, is the author of Nellie Oleson Meets Laura Ingalls (2007). Does this suggest there will be more Little House books in the years to come? Stay tuned!

LHOTP credits

As part of the expansion of this website, I have begun a comprehensive episode guide to the Little House on the Prairie television series that aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983 (plus three post-series telefilms that aired in 1983 and 1984). This includes a full list of all 200 episodes and the full credits of all episodes—over forty have been posted already, with more on the way soon.

LHOTP Musical in Toronto

An ad in the Globe and Mail shows that Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, with Melissa Gilbert as Ma, will be coming to Toronto in January 2010, as part of the Mirvish Theatre Subscription Season. The musical, premiered on 26 July 2008 at Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, is based on the entire Little House saga, was directed by Francesca Zambello, with book by Rachel Sheinkin, music by Rachel Portman, and lyrics by Donna di Novelli. Although the specific venue of the Toronto version has not yet been announced, please visit the Mirvish website for more information.

Has anyone seen the musical? If so, how did you like it?