John Laudun studies how humans think their way through the world in words and in actions. He has been supported in his work with a Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education, with a MacArthur Scholarship from the Indiana Center for Global Change and World Peace, with a Fellowship from the EVIA Digital Archive, and with fellowship from the NEH and the NSF.

His work has appeared in scholarly journals, anthologies, archives, CDs, films, and television series. His book, The Amazing Crawfish Boat, is an ethnographic exploration of the diffuse networks of ideas and individuals that gave rise to an indigenous amphibious vehicle that reveals how landscape, imagination, and tradition intersect. It was published in 2016 by the University Press of Mississippi as part of the Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World series supported by the Mellon Foundation. His most recent work focuses on computational models of text in general and modeling of narrative in particular, with a focus on everyday narratives generated by humans as they respond to events both small and large.

John Laudun received his BA in Philosophy and English from Louisiana State University in 1986, his MA in textual studies from Syracuse University in 1989, and his PhD in folklore studies from the Folklore Institute at Indiana University in 1999. He is currently the Doris Meriwether/Board of Regents Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.