John Laudun

As a member of both the folklore and the creative writing faculties with the Department of English at the University of Louisiana, I have more homes in the ether than I have in reality.

The photograph to the left is of the old Caffery Sugar House, or what is left of it in Saint Mary Parish, on the Irish Bend of the Bayou Teche.


If you are looking for particular documents, then you will find most of the links below:


English 360
Writing Nonfiction
English 632
Folklore Proseminar




If you need to know what I look like, here's a picture of me while doing fieldwork in Soileau. It was taken by my colleague Patricia Sawin. The good-looking man on the left is Maurice Cezar; I'm on the right.


In a landscape where names are associated with distinct places, my name makes me hard to place: Laudun occurs mostly in three areas of the world--France, Haiti, and south Louisiana. I grew up in Saint Mary Parish, along the Bayou Teche, and I am very happy, after over a dozen years away, to be back in Louisiana. I think it's important in this era of ours, where everything is a mere click away, to tie ourselves to places and people that matter to us and to work hard to make them and ourselves better for the ties.

When I was in grade school, my family moved to Baton Rouge, which is where I completed my schooling and received my undergraduate degree in philosophy and English at Louisiana State University. From there I moved to central New York and suffered a climactic and cultural shock which eventually found me recovering through the study of folklore.

While working on my Ph.D. at Indiana University's Folklore Institute, I taught a variety of folklore classes as well as the year-long introduction to African American literature. Indeed, African American folklore and literature have long been important to me. As a way to share my sense of its importance, an on-line copy of a little essay I wrote for Louisiana Folklore Miscellany is available by clicking here.

Along the way to becoming a folklorist, I have been a roofer and I have been a management consultant.

Folklore is the business of making friends with people you wouldn't normally have a chance to make friends with. Folklore takes you out of your house, out of your circle, out into the world where you bump into the most amazing people. I have been very lucky to have become a folklorist. It adds not only richness and depth to everything I do, but honor and grace, because I owe it to everyone I have met to get it right.