Book Fest: Local authors Fatima Shaik and Michael Tisserand talk New Orleans Creole history 

Local writers Fatima Shaik and Michael Tisserand sat down Friday (March 11) to talk about “Hidden History: Black and Creole Influence and Culture in New Orleans” at the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University. 

Shaik’s book chronicles the history of Black New Orleans through a group of free men-of-color, the Société d’Economie et d’Assistance Mutuelle. “Hidden” is part of the title because this society and its activities were unknown even though the men of the Economic and Mutual Aid Association community were significant figures in the city from the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s to the creation of jazz in the early 20th century. The name “Economy Hall” refers to the Tremé building where the association met and held events. Tisserand is the author of “Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White,” the acclaimed biography of New Orleans-born illustrator, journalist and cartoonist George Herriman, the creator of “Krazy Kat,”  a newspaper comic strip that ran from 1913 to 1944. The book investigates his life navigating — or hiding from —  the color line in the early 20th century. 

Shaik relates that she and Tisserand discovered many affinities due to their deep research and dedication to unknown New Orleans stories.

Book Fest: Local writers and photographers take it to the streets

The streets of New Orleans were among the wide range of topics covered at the inaugural New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University. The sessions were not on the potholes or the perennial roadwork, though that was discussed, too. (“The problem with the streets is that we are sitting on top of an ever-changing river,” writer Jason Berry said.) They were on the spectacle of street life in New Orleans. Two Friday (March 11) sessions — a panel called “Visual New Orleans: A City of Neighborhoods” and a talk by Berry on his film and book “City of a Million Dreams” — covered recent works chronicling public rituals in the city’s Black communities that have become emblematic of New Orleans: the second-line parade and the jazz funeral. Judy Cooper’s “Dancing in the Streets” and Jason Berry’s “City of a Million Dreams” delve deeply into these traditions — deep enough to avoid cliches and appropriation.

Book Festival at Tulane, opening Thursday, includes sessions on jazz, Southern humor, climate change, football, race and more

The long-awaited inaugural New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University opens Thursday (March 10) and runs through Saturday on Tulane’s Uptown campus. The festival was planned for 2020 and again for 2021 but was canceled twice amid Covid-19 surges. 

The event features more than 60 panel sessions from a lineup of 130 renowned and rising authors, including an award-winning group of children’s authors, some of New Orleans’ top chefs and an all-star musical lineup. The book festival is free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The author lineup includes national bestselling authors participating such as John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, Imani Perry, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Bakari Sellers, Don Lemon, Jon Meacham, Charles Blow,  Sarah M. Broom and David Brooks. 

Local authors include Jason Berry, John Barry, Barri Bronston, Richard Campanella, Donna Brazile, Macon Fry, Sister Helen Prejean, Michael Tisserand, James Gill and Tom Piazza.

New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University announces full schedule for inaugural literary celebration (sponsored)

The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University announced today its much-anticipated lineup and complete schedule for its inaugural event, which will take place March 10-12, on Tulane University’s Uptown campus. The book festival is free and open to the public. Among the national bestselling authors participating are Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, John Grisham, Imani Perry, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Bakari Sellers, Don Lemon, Jon Meacham, Charles Blow, Clint Smith, Cleo Wade, Sarah M. Broom and David Brooks. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The event will feature 130 renowned and rising authors, including an engaging group of children’s authors, some of New Orleans’ top chefs and an all-star musical lineup. Click here to view the complete book festival schedule.

Tulane University to host ‘X’s and O’s,’ a play about football and traumatic brain injury

 

From Tulane University

Six years ago, Tulane University assistant professor Jenny Mercein and playwright KJ Sanchez co-created a play called X’s and O’s that examines the lasting physical and neurological impacts from playing football. Mercein and Sanchez are now bringing their docudrama to Tulane’s campus. On Thursday (Feb. 17) at 7 p.m., Tulane will host a reading and panel discussion of X’s and O’s inside the Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club at Yulman Stadium, 2900 Ben Weiner Drive. The event, a collaboration between the Tulane Center for Sport and the School of Liberal Arts’ Department of Theater and Dance, is free and open to the public.

Tulane University’s burgeoning residential village receives major donation

The university’s new residential village currently taking shape along McAlister Way on the Uptown campus received a boost recently from an alumnus whose name is synonymous with Tulane men’s basketball. Real estate magnate Avron B. Fogelman, a 1962 Tulane graduate, and his wife, Wendy Fogelman, a 1963 Newcomb College graduate, are providing the lead gift to build the pre-eminent student hall in the university’s residential project. The gift will propel the construction of Fogelman Hall. The freshman residence will replace Irby Hall, a popular residence hall on the former Bruff Quad next to McAlister Auditorium. Fogelman Hall will be one of five new residential buildings in The Village, the name for Tulane President Michael Fitts’ vision for reimagining the university’s residential spaces.

Tulane University to study water quality in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida

From Tulane University

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Tulane University researcher a RAPID grant to study how pollutants from flooding caused by Hurricane Ida may have affected groundwater and water systems in south Louisiana. Louisiana and other coastal states face hazards like superstorms and hurricanes that can expose groundwater and water systems to chemical or microbial contaminants that may have serious implications for human health. Samendra Sherchan, associate professor of environmental health sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, will lead a team collecting water samples at more than 150 sites in Houma, LaPlace, Slidell and other areas at different time intervals during the next six months to gain a better understanding of the impacts of extreme flooding on water quality and the mobilization of contaminants in coastal groundwater systems. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon on Aug. 29, bringing coastal storm surges, heavy rainfall and catastrophic flooding to many rural areas in southern Louisiana. “Such large-scale flooding has the potential to transport chemical agents and microbial pathogens and contaminate groundwater,” Sherchan said.

Tulane scientist to lead research project on sustainability of Gulf of Mexico ecosystem

From Tulane University

Ehab Meselhe, a professor in the Tulane Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering, has received a $125,000 grant to plan the creation of an online forecasting tool to help scientists, ecologists and engineers evaluate how freshwater diversion and other coastal restorations projects may impact marine mammals, shorebirds, barrier islands and fisheries from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Meselhe received one of 20 planning grants totaling $2.3 million for a project that aims to develop a management and forecast system directly accessible to resource managers through a web-based dashboard. “It’s a preliminary step toward the development of urgently needed management tools for natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico,” Meselhe said. “It was very competitive, and I am so excited to receive one of these planning grants.”

The grant from the NOAA Restore Science Program aims to fund research that reduces the uncertainty around the management of natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico region. “The team of resource managers and researchers that Dr. Meselhe has assembled will work together to develop a publicly accessible river management and forecast system to explore the tradeoffs between different restoration strategies in the lower Mississippi River as well as examine how to optimize river inflows to reach restoration targets,” said Julien Lartigue, director of the Science Program.

Tulane researcher suggests marijuana can cause infertility in men

By Lance Sumler, Tulane University

As more states legalize marijuana, a new study by a Tulane University researcher has a warning for would-be dads. Smoking weed regularly may harm a man’s fertility. Researchers from Tulane and the University of Washington found a connection between low semen volume and damaged sperm among men who smoked marijuana. But the side effects weren’t all bad. The study also found that men who smoked marijuana were more likely to have sperm that swam faster.