Thursday, February 8, 2018

Four-Day Tricentennial Symposium "Making New Orleans Home" Comes to the University of New Orleans on March 11

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The University of New Orleans will host the concluding events in what promises to be an historic and engaging four-day symposium celebrating New Orleans’ Tricentennial.

“Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium,” March 8-11, is sponsored by The Historic New Orleans Collection and the City of New Orleans 2018 Tricentennial Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee. The symposium explores the 300-year history of how New Orleans came to be inhabited by diverse, vibrant people and how, in turn, the concept of home has been central to the life and culture of the city.

On Sunday, March 11, the events come to the University of New Orleans’ Senator Ted Hickey Ballroom and Gallery Lounge in the University Center, where attendees will hear from local historians and experts about the history of the city’s immigrant populations, music, civil rights movement and more.

The day’s schedule is as follows:

10:30–10:45 a.m.

Welcoming remarks
Matt Tarr, Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of New Orleans

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

From Congo Square to Storyville: History from a Musical Perspective
University of Louisiana–Lafayette Wind Ensemble
Freddi Williams Evans, author, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans
James Syler, composer, Congo Square and Storyville

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.

The Future of A Great American City
Leslie M. Harris, professor of history and African American studies, Northwestern University

4 p.m.

Closing remarks

The symposium is the capstone of Tricentennial Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee, which is chaired by author and former Associate Vice President for External Affairs at Xavier University Sybil Morial and The Historic New Orleans Collection Executive Director Priscilla Lawrence.

“This is a unique opportunity to gather as a community, reflect on our city’s 300 year legacy, share groundbreaking scholarship and examine this fascinating place we call home,” Lawrence said.

Comprising individual lectures and panel discussions, the symposium will be held at a different location each day. Thursday’s keynote session will take place at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium and will feature speaker native New Orleanian Cokie Roberts, an NPR Morning Edition commentator, political commentator for ABC News and the author of numerous books on American history.

Friday’s sessions will be held in the French Quarter at the Hotel Monteleone. Xavier University will host the programs for Saturday before the program concludes on Sunday at the University of New Orleans. Additional evening events will take place on the 500 block of Royal Street at The Historic New Orleans Collection on Friday, March 9 and the New Orleans Jazz Museum on Saturday, March 10.

Emily Clark, the Clement Chambers Benenson Professor in American Colonial History at Tulane University, chaired the subcommittee that selected more than two dozen speakers and panelists.  

Isabel Wilkerson, author of the award-winning book “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” (Random House, 2010), is the featured speaker on Saturday morning, March 10, when talks will be held at Xavier University’s McCaffrey Ballroom in the University Center. Wilkerson won a Pulitzer Prize for her earlier work at the New York Times, making her both the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer and the first African American reporter to win for individual reporting.

The symposium is presented by the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee with the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, The Historic New Orleans Collection, the Ethel and Herman L. Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at the University of New Orleans and Xavier University of Louisiana

Admission to the symposium is free. The complete schedule of talks and events is available at