Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium

The Historic New Orleans Collection will join the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee to present “Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium,” Thursday, March 8, through Sunday, March 11, 2018.

Comprising individual lectures and panel discussions, the four-day symposium will be held at locations throughout the city, including Tulane University, the Hotel Monteleone, Xavier University, and the University of New Orleans. Additional evening events will take place at The Historic New Orleans Collection and the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint.

Schedule

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Tulane University, McAlister Auditorium, McAlister Drive and Freret Street

6:30 p.m. Welcome address
Michael Fitts, president, Tulane University
Symposium address

Priscilla Lawrence and Sybil Haydel Morial, co-chairs, Cultural and Historical Committee,
City of New Orleans Tricentennial

Introduction

Emily Clark, chair, Symposium Program Committee, and Clement Chambers Benenson Professor in American Colonial History, Tulane University

Keynote address
Cokie Roberts, NPR and ABC News political commentator

Friday, March 9, 2018
Conference sessions: Monteleone Hotel, Queen Anne Ballroom, 214 Royal Street
Block party: 500 block of Royal Street

8:45–9 a.m. Introductory remarks
Priscilla Lawrence and Sybil Haydel Morial
9–9:40 a.m. Balbancha: How American Indians Kept New Orleans in their Homeland
Daniel H. Usner, Holland N. McTyeire Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
9:40–10 a.m. Break
10–10:45 a.m.

 

Revisiting the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans
Shannon Lee Dawdy, professor of anthropology, University of Chicago

Traces of Endangered Pasts: New Orleans Archaeology at the Tricentennial
D. Ryan Gray, Richard Wallin Boebel Endowed Professor in Anthropology, University of New Orleans

10:45–11 a.m. Break
11–11:40 a.m. Self Expression and Enslaved People
Sophie White, associate professor of American studies, University of Notre Dame
11:40 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:15–1:30 p.m. Afternoon welcome
Daniel Hammer, deputy director, The Historic New Orleans Collection
1:30–2:10 p.m.

 

Making New Orleans Home at the Table
Jessica Harris, culinary historian and professor, Queens College, CUNY (retired)
2:10–2:30 p.m. Break
2:30–3:15 p.m. The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A Shared History
David Fleming, director, National Museums Liverpool (UK)
3:15–3:30 p.m. Break
3:30–4:15 p.m.

 

New Orleans and the Slave Trade
Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History, professor of African and African American studies, and director of the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University
interviewed by Lawrence N. Powell, professor emeritus of history, Tulane University
5–7:30 p.m. Block party, 500 block of Royal Street
Featuring performances by Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band and the Dukes of Dixieland

Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Viewing of New Orleans, the Founding Era, an exhibition at The Historic New Orleans Collection


Saturday, March 10, 2018
Conference sessions: Xavier University, McCaffrey Ballroom, University Center (3rd floor), 1 Drexel Drive
Evening program: New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Avenue
Food and drinks available for purchase at both venues.

8:45–9 a.m. Welcoming remarks
C. Reynold Verret, president, Xavier University
9–9:45 a.m. Featured address
The Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson, author, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
9:45–10:15 a.m. Break
10:15–11 a.m. Panel discussion: Religion

  • Voodoo and the Racial Politics of Identity in New Orleans
    Kodi Roberts, assistant professor of history, Louisiana State Univeristy
  • The Politics of Prayer: Free Women of Color and the Pursuit of Freedom in Antebellum Louisiana
    Noël Voltz, assistant professor of history, University of Utah
  • From Code Noir to Respectability: Jews and Judaism in New Orleans
    Hasia DinerPaul and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and professor of Hebrew, New York University
11–11:45 a.m. Panel discussion: “Creating Home: 300 Years of Builders and Architects in New Orleans”

  • Ann M. Masson, architectural historian, Tulane School of Architecture
  • Tara Dudley, lecturer, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Jonn Ethan Hankins, executive director, New Orleans Master Crafts Guild
11:45–2 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
Book signing with Isabel Wilkerson
2–2:40 p.m. New Orleans in the American Revolution
Kathleen Duval, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor of History, University of North Carolina
2:40–3 p.m. Break
3–3:45 p.m. Panel discussion: Haiti and New Orleans

  • Exiles from Saint-Dominque: Caribbeanizing New Orleans
    Nathalie Dessens, professor of American history, Université Toulouse
  • The Refugee Predicament: From Saint-Domingue to Cuba to New Orleans, 1803–1809
    Rebecca J. ScottCharles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History, professor of law, University of Michigan
3:45–4 p.m. Break
4–4:45 p.m. Panel discussion: New Orleans Music: Past, Present, and Future

  • Home Is Where the Heart Is
    Bruce Boyd Raeburn, head of special collections and director emeritus, Hogan Jazz Archive, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University
  • Building and Rebuilding the “Land of Dreams” with Music
    Nick Spitzer, producer, American Routes, and professor of anthropology, Tulane University
  • The New Orleans Second Line Tradition: Musical and Cultural Implications
    Dr. Michael White, Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities, Xavier University
4:45 p.m. Invitation to evening event
Greg Lambousy, director, New Orleans Jazz Museum
6:30–10 p.m. Minting NOLA Music at the Jazz Museum

 


Sunday, March 11, 2018
University of New Orleans, Senator Ted Hickey Ballroom and Gallery Lounge, University Center, 2000 Lakeshore Drive. Parking will be complimentary in all university parking lots, including the University Center lot. Food and drinks available for purchase.

10:30–10:45 a.m. Welcoming remarks
Matt Tarr, Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Introductory remarks
Mary Niall Mitchell, Ethel and Herman L. Midlo Chair in New Orleans Studies, Joseph Tregle Professor in Early American History, University of New Orleans

10:45–11:30 a.m. Panel discussion: Immigrants

  • Faith, Hope, and Charity: Irish Communities in New Orleans
    Laura D. Kelley, adjunct professor of history and program director, Tulane Summer in Dublin program, Tulane University
  • Immigration in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans
    Justin A. Nystrom, director, Center for the Study of New Orleans, Loyola University, New Orleans
  • Three Centuries and Counting: Germans at Home in New Orleans from the Start
    Daniel Hammer, deputy director, The Historic New Orleans Collection
11:30–12:15 p.m. An Ethnic Geography of New Orleans: Residential Settlement Patterns across Three Centuries
Richard Campanella, geographer, Tulane School of Architecture
12:15–2:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1–2:15 p.m “Congo Square” and “Storyville”
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Wind Ensemble
conducted by William J. Hochkeppeldirector of bands, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
works composed by James SylerUniversity of Texas at San Antonio
commentary by Freddi Evansauthor, independent scholar, and arts educator
2:15–3:15 p.m. Civil Rights roundtable

  • Sybil Haydel Morial, author and former associate vice president for external affairs, Xavier University
  • Alexander P. Tureaud Jr.educator, author, public speaker, and artist
  • Raphael Cassimere Jr., professor emeritus of history, University of New Orleans
  • Doratha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons, civil rights activist, New Orleans Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), NAACP Youth Council

moderated by Lawrence N. Powell, professor emeritus of history, Tulane University

3:15–4 p.m. Whither New Orleans? The Future of A Great American City
Leslie M. Harris, professor of history and African American studies, Northwestern University
4 p.m. Closing remarks
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The 2018 New Orleans Combination: 606-10-300

Tomorrow the Maid of Orleans celebrates her 606th birthday. In the old quarter, a group of dedicated volunteers will stage one of the most beautiful parades of the year in her honor for the 10th year in a row. And directly after, fireworks will celebrate the 300th year since our city’s founding.

There may be no better way to understand the deep determination of people here to remain – and to not just to remain but to live with ease together and to honor the history we safeguard – than the Carnival season. This one, held during our tricentennial, should be especially exciting.

In many ways, the best and worst of what we represent is on display during these weeks every year: the DIY creativity, the peaceful takeover of public space (described best by writer CW Cannon in his New Orleans Manifesto), the informal conviviality among all groups gathered on a parade route. But also note the divide between rich and poor and people of color and white people: gauge the city’s interest in litter control or infrastructure repair between the worlds of St. Charles versus Claiborne, or check out the cordoned off areas for the politically connected on the grandstands in front of Gallier Hall for the big parades. Cannon points out “the social purpose of the Uptown route parading tradition was to standardize, control and express who the bosses of the city were in a striking visual spectacle.” If you doubt it, note where the Rex, Proteus or Comus flags on homes are all located, the debutante photos (and same names) on the news sites,  the pic of the middle-aged man who will be Rex in 2018 and his 20-something “Queen.”

(And don’t forget the groups of mostly young white men who illegally camp out days before a few unnamed parades in order to to be upfront and able to push others aside to get plastic beads and children’s toys and get pukey-drunk on the neutral ground.)

Even so, the season offers something good for every New Orleanian old and new, permanent or temporary. For most, it is a season of deep sociability and a slew of political or cultural indicators of the current mood sent by the people to their elected officials.

As a Quarterite, I tend to stay here to celebrate the season, venturing more often downtown than Uptown. One reason is that the city stopped allowing float parades in the Quarter in the 1970s and after some years of inactivity, the walking parade has taken over on our streets with a great deal of style. Joan of Arc’s parade- although not directly a Carnival parade as it would roll on her day no matter when it was-is the perfect way to begin the downtown season. With its handmade costumes and candlelight, it offers a humorous, educational, moving set of tableaus dedicated to one of the saints that New Orleans considers theirs.

I remember the first one in 2008 where I met it in the Square and then again at “Joanie on a Pony,” the golden statue now found on Decatur , where the parade ends and a few dozen bystanders shared king cake with the cold and wet but jubilant masquers who had pulled off their first parade.

What is significant about that date is that it was in the depths of the rebuilding of our city after the federal levee breaks and was about the time that the initial joy at returning had worn off and the long slog ahead to recover became quite evident. I was living in a FEMA trailer in MidCity and upon returning back to it and my still-empty street after the parade, found myself smiling at the memory of what I had just witnessed and enjoying the slice of king cake shared by its krewe.

Because it honors our connection with France, celebrates a plucky teenager who heard voices and decided to follow them and resist, uses a route that shows off the Quarter beautifully, is generous with its throws, truly offers tableaus, and is made up of diehard and joyous New Orleanians, the January 6th Joan or Arc parade is royalty among parades in my book.