Fall 2023

 Swallowtail Logo


August 24, 2023

Fall Launch

4:30 pm, Reaud Executive Event Space

Reception with refreshments

Come learn about the Center's work in fostering the scholarship and creativity of Southeast Texas and the greater Gulf regions. News, Upcoming Programing, Greater Gulf Symposium, Fellowships, and more.

Monica Walters

September 28, 2023

"Country Hood" Love Stories with Monica Walters

Reception with refreshments: 4:30-5:00 pm, Dishman Museum First Floor Gallery

Author reading and interview: 5:00-6:00 pm, Dishman Auditorium

Please join us for an intriguing evening with Amazon best-selling romance author Monica Walters (B.S. in Sociology, 2013), best known as the “queen of country hood love stories.”  Walters, a Beaumont native who now resides in Nome, has always had a passion for creating different worlds with words, and her stories often feature the people and places of Southeast Texas, including several works set on the campus of Lamar University. In addition to reading passages from her novels, Walters will sit down for an interview and audience Q&A. We look forward to discovering Walters’s winding path to publication, celebrating her many successes, and learning more about the distinctive cultures of our region.

A recording of the author reading, interview, and Q&A available via Facebook.

Live Stream Recording

Jivin Gene

October 20, 2023

Swamp Pop: History and Sounds of a Gumbo-Combo of Rock-N-Roll, Country, and Cajun Music.

6:30-8:00 pm, McFaddin-Ward House Museum Performance Patio

Join the McFaddin-Ward House and the Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast for a unique outdoor event exploring the history and narrative of Swamp Pop music. The evening will feature a free public lecture presented by Rachel Stiles, followed by a live performance by Jivin’ Gene and Eazy. Rachel Stiles is a Lamar University student currently working towards her Master of Music in piano performance. A 2022-2023 Fellow at Lamar University’s Center for History and Culture, Stiles has focused her research on the twentieth century phenomenon of swamp pop—a regional rock and roll variant unique to Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. As a teenager, Port Arthur native Gene Bourgeois--aka Jivin’ Gene--helped to invent this new music genre, cooked up from a virtual gumbo of influences: country music, rhythm and blues, Cajun ballads, and rock-n-roll. 

“Swamp Pop” is part of the Third Annual Museum Madness Weekend (Oct. 19-22). The Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Children’s Museum, John Jay French Museum, Edison Museum, Dishman Art Museum, Fire Museum of Texas, McFaddin-Ward House Museum, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, and Texas Energy Museum are each hosting events for a fun-filled weekend in Jefferson County.


1948 Lamar Cardinal

 LU 100


November 3, 2023

100 Years of Magical Memories

4:00 pm, First Floor, Mary and John Gray Library. Exhibit Opening

4:15 pm, Mirabeau B. Lamar Room, Eighth Floor, Mary and John the Gray Library. Presentation & Panel Discussion

The Lamar University Archives and Special Collections will host a Homecoming event at 4:00 pm, Friday, November 3 in conjunction with the opening of a new exhibit on the first floor of the Mary and John Gray Library. “100 Years of Magical Memories” consists of items collected by the Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast. The exhibit includes football programs, scrapbooks, class rings, athletic jerseys, letter jackets, and other items that mark the history of Lamar University. At about 4:15 pm in the Mirabeau B. Lamar Room, Eighth Floor of the Gray Library, Judith Linsley—past director of the Center for History and Culture—will give a presentation on the history of Lamar. A panel discussion will follow with alumni sharing their memories of the university during different eras. Light refreshments provided.

LeJeune Cover

November 9, 2023

Naming the Chenier Plain with Keagan LeJeune

5:00 PM, Dishman Art Museum Auditorium

Can the names we use to label the world around us reveal something about how we see the world? Can the stories we tell about those names show even more? The Chenier Plain that runs along the Texas and Louisiana coast is comprised of a remarkable mix of wooded beach ridges and flat grassy wetlands. It can be beautiful, and stunning, and strange--often isolating, sometimes dangerous. For years, living there meant its residents needed to possess an immense amount of local knowledge. It also meant they developed a complex relationship with the land. This presentation explores if some of this relationship might be revealed through the names people have used for this landscape and the stories they have told about them. 2022-2023 Center Fellow Keagan LeJeune is an award-winning author of several books, professor of English at McNeese State University, past president of the Louisiana Folklore Society, and former editor of its Louisiana Folklore Miscellany. His most recent book, Finding Myself Lost in Louisiana, offers one writer’s odyssey through Louisiana folklore and history as he searches for the true meaning of home.

Live Stream Recording


November 16, 2023

The Twentieth-Century Architectural Heritage of Texas’s Golden Triangle with Stephen Fox

Free with registration with Preservation Texas

6:30 pm, Dishman Art Museum Auditorium

Preservation Texas--a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of significant areas, sites, buildings, monuments, and artifacts of Texas--will convene their regional meeting in Beaumont. The Center for History and Culture is pleased to host their keynote address by Stephen Fox at the Dishman Art Museum Auditorium. In addition to providing an overview of twentieth-century architecture in Southeast Texas, Fox will also discuss the significance of the Dishman Art Museum building--designed by Beaumont architecture firm Gordy and Huffhines and constructed in 1983. Stephen Fox is an architectural historian and a lecturer at the Rice School of Architecture. His scholarship examines the ways that architecture engages such social constructs as class identity, cultural distinction, and regional differentiation. Fox is the author of the AIA Houston Architectural Guide (2012), the Country Houses of John F. Staub (2007) [Rice University].

Register with Preservation Texas