Meet LSU's experts on Louisiana Mardi Gras

January 01, 2023

One of the things Louisiana is best known for is Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday.” Mardi Gras is celebrated in a variety of ways around the state, but most include eating king cake, participating in parades, and costuming. The holiday represents an integral part of Louisiana’s culture and heritage.

LSU faculty experts are available for media interviews about the Mardi Gras history and traditions. LSU also has a video uplink studio with live broadcast capabilities for any outlets wishing to conduct on-camera interviews.

LSU researchers available to speak on Mardi Gras include:

Alecia P. Long, associate professor, history
Contact: 225-578-4458 /  
Areas of expertise: 19th and 20th century social and cultural history of the United States, especially Louisiana and New Orleans

Carolyn Ware, associate professor, English
Contact: 225-578-3022 /
Areas of expertise: rural Cajun Mardi Gras celebrations, coastal folk culture (especially Plaquemines Parish), Louisiana Croatian folklife, human-animal relationships and veterinary culture.

Helen Regis, associate professor, geography and anthropology
Contact: 225-578-6171 /
Areas of expertise: Mardi Gras marching groups, innovation and tradition, alternative parades, New Orleans, gender, neighborhoods, race/racism, public space

Joyce Jackson, professor of folklore and ethnomusicology, geography and anthropology
Contact: 225-578-5942 /
Areas of expertise: Mardi Gras Indian traditions; had an exhibit at the Smithsonian on Mardi Gras Indians and has done oral histories with several of the Mardi Gras Indian chiefs and members

Mark Martin, LSU Libraries Special Collections photographic processing archivist
Contact: 225-578-6501 / 
Areas of expertise: New Orleans and Baton Rouge Mardi Gras and the Baton Rouge’s Firemen’s Parade of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, which was the Baton Rouge substitute for Mardi Gras

Michael Pasquier, associate professor, religious studies and history
Contact: 225-578-2271 /
Areas of expertise: Roman Catholicism in the South, Roman Catholic traditions surrounding Mardi Gras and into lent 

Stephen Barnes, assistant professor of research in economics; director of the Economics and Policy Research Group
Contact: 225-578-3783 /
Areas of expertise: economic benefits of tourism and Mardi Gras; labor economics; health economics; regional economics; public finance; applied econometric and environmental related studies

Wes Shrum, professor, sociology
Contact: 225-578-5319 /
Areas of expertise: Ritual disrobement at Mardi Gras, nudity, new traditions

LSU Libraries Special Collections:

The LSU Libraries have a number of collections related to Mardi Gras history and traditions:

For more information, contact LSU Libraries Special Collections at 225-578-6544 or

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine:
Mardi Gras Dos and Don'ts for Pets