English department hosts first LitCon

Cosplay is coming to Natchitoches on March 21 as part of the first ever LitCon hosted by NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. LitCon will start at 9 a.m. in Hanchey Gallery and continue throughout the day, leading up to the annual Spring Read in the evening.

LitCon follows the same idea as ComicCon events and can be described as a literary convention where people gather to view, explore and discuss all kinds of literature and other topics surrounding it.

Among the activities is a literary character cosplay contest, an idea that NSU English Instructor Oona Zbitkovskis said she brought to the table when creating the event.

“I love the idea of that laid-back feel where people can really enjoy something, and you get to see all the nuances that connect,” she said. “I want [LitCon] to feel like a community… and sometimes it’s fun to just let yourself go.”

While cosplaying is not mandatory, Zbitkovskis said it’s great for everyone to have the opportunity to be around other people and know you’re not alone while putting yourself out there.

“[Cosplay] is very serious; it’s your passion expressed and seen visually,” Zbitkovskis said.

NSU Instructor Ramsey Prince agreed cosplay is important to the event and as a form of self-expression.

“It’s a natural off-shoot that we [as a department] should create art, and cosplay is art,” Prince said. “We are a university town, and wherever there is a university, there is a big population that’s into cosplay. We’re nerds, and that’s just what we do.”

Zbitkovskis added that her goal for LitCon is to collaborate and incorporate the humanities and the arts with other areas of studies.

“What I wanted to do with this was… show how all the humanities and arts work together,” she said. “Often times, we get so caught up in our little islands that we end up having these cliques [between disciplines], but there’s so much we can learn and benefit from each other.”

Authors including John Kemp and Annabel Jones will attend the event and participate in Q&A sessions. Some of LitCon’s guests also include representatives from the English department who will discuss film criticism and academic writing and artists, illustrators and graphic designers who will share their works.

Students, faculty and the Natchitoches community are encouraged to attend, even if they are stepping in and out of sessions.

For more information about LitCon, contact Oona Zbitkovskis at oonaz@nsula.edu.

Jordan Reich

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