This international conference brought together leading international scholars to question what lies beyond New Orleans’ exceptional history and authentic culture. The event was organised by Centre lecturer Thomas Adams and Matt Sakakeeny from Tulane University and featured a keynote address by Adolph Reed, Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a presentation from Centre lecturer Aaron Nyerges.

Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has witnessed an outpouring of scholarly interest across the social sciences and humanities. Much of this scholarship has opened up new lines of analysis regarding the city and its place in broader regional, national, and international contexts. At the same time, writing and research about New Orleans continues to romanticize the city as exceptional. In many accounts, New Orleans appears as an autonomous and a historical zone populated solely by unique social formations and authentic cultures, isolated from other postindustrial cities. This conference brought together scholars in anthropology, English, history, media studies, and political science to situate studies of New Orleans within larger global patterns and cross-cultural comparisons.