Fletcher Lecture Series


This year’s Fletcher Lecture is Mississippi Novelist Mary Miller

Mary Miller, acclaimed author of Biloxi and The Last Days of California, a wide array of short fiction, and considered a preeminent coming-of-age writer, will be the Nicholls State University 2019 Fletcher Lecturer.

Miller’s presentation will be at 6 p.m. October 3, 2019, in the auditorium of Gouaux Hall on Nicholls State University’s campus. The talk is free and open to the public. Miller will sign books afterward. Books will be on sale in the lobby outside the auditorium.  Miller will host a question and answer session at 11 a.m. in the Le Bijou Theater in the Nicholls Student Union.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi and a resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Miller is a creative writing faculty member at the Mississippi University for Women’s MFA program. Her former residencies include terms as the James A. Michener Writing Fellow at the University of Texas-Austin and the Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Her first novel, The Last Days of California, achieved critical and popular acclaim and novelist Alexis Smith has called it “the Sense and Sensibility of pre-Apocalypse America.”  Miller’s short fiction has appeared in the Oxford American, New Stories from the South, McSweeney’s Quarterly, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review, among many others.  The National Book Review called her most recent collection of stories, Always Happy Hour, a “stunning (and well-titled) collection of short fiction involving complicated, unprivileged women on the precipice of adulthood.” Biloxi is Miller’s most recent novel, and it has already met with critical and popular acclaim.

For 36 years The Fletcher Lecture Series has brought major writers and literary figures to campus to speak and interact with students and the campus community. Past Lecturers have included such luminaries as Robert Penn Warren, Noel Polk, Lee Smith, Gerald Early, Marianne Robinson, Yuri Herrera, and the filmmaker Behn Zeitlin.

Past Lecturers:

Robert Penn Warren and Eleanor Clark 1985

Andrew Lytle 1986

Cleanth Brooks 1987

Clyde Edgerton, Hamlin Hill, James Cox, and William Bedford Clark 1988

Lewis P. Simpson 1989

Mary Bess Widden, Nancy Walker, and Jane Curry 1990

Donald E. Stanford 1991

Sybil Kein 1992

Ernest J. Gaines 1993

Edgar Bowers 1994

Kevin L. Cope 1995

X. J. Kennedy 1996

Lee Smith 1997

Fred Chappell 1998

Tim Gautreaux 1999

Noel Polk 2000

Timothy Steele 2001

Shelley Fisher Fishkin 2002

Maxine Hong Kingston 2003

Peggy Prenshaw 2004

Ellen Gilchrist 2006

Randall Kenan 2006

Gerald Early 2007

Sam Pickering Spring 2008

Marilynne Robinson Fall 2009

Olympia Vernon 2010

Darrell Bourque 2011

Joseph Boyden 2012

Benh Zeitlin 2013

Mona Lisa Saloy 2014

Ava Leavell Haymon 2015

Nick Spitzer, 2016

Kate Bernheimer, 2017

Yuri Herrera, 2018


Paul Prudhomme

Chris Kerageorgiou and Goffredo Fraccaro

John Folse

Alex Patout

Gerard Thabuis

Frank Brigsten

Andrea Apuzzzo

Marcelle Bienvenu

Enola Prudhomme

Greg and Mary Sonnier

Mike Fennelly

Kevin Graham

Leah Chase

Wayne and Debbie Pierce

Hubert Sandot

Terrell Brunet

Undergraduate Humanities Symposium

The 2022 Humanities Symposium @ Scholars Expeaux will be held on April, 13-14, 2022. Abstracts are due by March 7, 2022. Abstracts can be submitted here.

The Undergraduate Humanities Symposium showcases humanities-based scholarly activities of undergraduates at Nicholls State University. All undergraduate students at Nicholls are eligible to participate. The Symposium is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. David Middleton, Sigma Tau Delta, the Department of Languages & Literature, and the Office Sponsored Research.

The Humanities Symposium @ Scholars Expeaux also features screenings of student films and a preview of the upcoming Mosaic issue.


The Symposium takes place in the spring semester. Nicholls faculty and staff serve as judges and mentors to undergraduate students conducting and presenting their research. Students participating in the Symposium are eligible for awards and the winners attend the Scholars Expeaux Award Ceremony.

The Symposium began in the spring of 2012.

Q: What’s a symposium?

A: A symposium is simply a conference or meeting where people gather to discuss a particular subject. The faculty committee will organize the presentations into panels that share a similar theme or approach.

Q: How long can my presentation be?

A: Your presentation should be 15-20 minutes long. Your panel moderator will be in contact with you about whether your presentation should be 15 or 20 minutes long.

Q: I’m not sure if I can say everything I need to in 15 minutes.

A: Don’t worry, no one expects you to say everything about a topic in 15 minutes. Moreover, there will a question and answer period during which you can add in things that you didn’t have time to cover.

Q: Can I use a PowerPoint presentation, show images, or movie clips during my presentation?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to read my paper as part of my presentation?

A: While presentation styles differ across disciplines and even depending on the personality of the presenter, one common and widely accepted practice among scholars in the humanities is for presenters to read their papers.

Q: Am I eligible for an award if I don’t present?

A: No. To be eligible for an award, you must orally present your paper.

Q: Am I eligible for an award if I don’t submit my paper?

A: No. To be eligible for an award you must submit a paper version of your presentation.

Q: Who should submit an abstract and participate in the Humanities Symposium?

A: Any undergraduate student who has taken a humanities class–Art History, Literature, a modern foreign language, History, etc.

–Any student who might be interested in going to graduate school.

–Any student who might be interested in going to professional school.

Q: Do I need to have my paper written by the time I submit my abstract?

A: No. Many times, scholars will submit an abstract for a paper they have yet to write. Think of an abstract as an outline or as a proposal. Your paper doesn’t have to 100% match your abstract; as long as it is on the same general topic you’ll be fine.

Q: Does it cost anything to participate in the Humanities Symposium?

A: No and in fact you could win money via one of the awards.

Q: Can I submit my paper as part of a pre-formed panel consisting of three or four other papers?

A: Yes. Many times, scholars collaborate and submit an abstract for a pre-formed panel of three or four papers.


Department of Languages and Literature

Office Location:
251 Peltier Hall
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2023
Thibodaux, LA 70310
Phone: 985-448-4453
Fax: 985-449-7110