Meet Our Authors

The three-day event will showcase nearly 100 national, regional and local authors, feature children and family programming, and include numerous literary exhibitors. Festival organizers are expecting more than 30,000 attendees.

Thomas Adams

Thomas Jessen Adams is Senior Lecturer in History and American Studies at the University of Sydney. He received his B.A. from Tulane and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Before arriving at Sydney, he was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Tulane. Along with Remaking New Orleans he is the co-editor of Working in the Big Easy (2014) and the author of articles in journals such as American Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Journal of American Studies, Nonsite, and Labor. His book, Servicing Inequality: Work and the Politics of Value in the Modern U.S. will be published in early 2020. Beyond his academic writing he frequently contributes essays to a variety of magazines and newspapers and is a regular commentator on American politics for Australian television and radio. He splits his time between New Orleans and Sydney.

Iñaki Alday

Iñaki Alday received a Master of Architecture degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1992. Together with Margarita Jover, he founded aldayjover architecture and landscape in 1996 in Barcelona. The multidisciplinary, research-based practice focuses on innovation and is particularly renowned for its leadership in a new approach to the relation between cities and rivers, in which the natural dynamics of flooding become part of the public space, eliminating the idea of “catastrophe.”

He has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, he was the Elwood R. Quesada Professor of Architecture from 2011 to 2018, and Chair of the Department of Architecture from 2011 to 2016. Since 2016, he has been the co-director and founder (with Pankja Vir Gupta) of the Yamuna River Project, a long-term, interdisciplinary research program whose objective is to revitalize the ecology of the Yamuna River in the Delhi area. The project involves an interdisciplinary team with expertise in architecture, land planning, civil engineering, environmental science, public-private partnerships, anthropology, political science, history and cultural studies. The team’s objective is to engage the efforts of government agencies, experts and activists in an ongoing program to address the multidimensional challenges of Delhi and the relation with its river.

Both in academic research and in practice, Alday promotes a new attitude towards the transformation of our environment and how architecture can contribute to the inhabitation of the most challenged areas of the planet. He utilizes a multidisciplinary global vision and social and environmental ethics to examine the role of architecture and architects.

Yigit Akin

Yigit Akin is a historian of the Modern Middle East. His research interests include social and cultural history of the late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey, with a particular focus on the First World War, war and society, gender, nationalism, and social movements.

Gabriela Alemán

Gabriela Alemán is a writer from Ecuador who is considered one of the premier voices in Latin American literature. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cambridge University in English Studies, a Master’s from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar in Latin American literature, and her PhD from Tulane University in Film Studies where her dissertation director was Ana López, Professor of Communication and scholar of Latin American film. Her most recent release is the English translation of Poso Wells, a story of a journalist investigating the disappearance of a prominent presidential candidate in a town where women are vanishing regularly but no seems concerned. She has worked as a journalist, editor, researcher and translator and played professional women’s basketball. She won the Premio Joaquín Gallegos Lara, a national prize for fiction in Ecuador, for her latest novel in Spanish, Humo. She is currently visiting Tulane as a Greenleaf Scholar-in-Residence and is on the faculty of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.

Gina Allen

Gina Minor Allen, a fifth generation New Orleanian, is the author/illustrator of the children’s picture book “There’s an Alligator in Audubon Park!” Born in New Orleans and raised in Florida, she moved her family back to the city and bought a home just in time to have it flood due to Hurricane Katrina,

She studied Illustration and graphic design, earning a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2015, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish her children’s book. With the help of many friends and family, her lifelong dream became a reality.

Gina lives in New Orleans (and Shreveport) with her two wonderful sons, Joseph and Gabriel, who are featured in and inspired “There’s an Alligator in Audubon Park!” Ms. Allen works as a technical writer with General Dynamics Information Technology.

C. Morgan Babst

C. Morgan Babst is a native of New Orleans. She began writing fiction as a student at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and went on to receive a B.A. in comparative literature from Yale, where she studied with Amy Bloom, J.D. McClatchy, and Robert Stone, and was editor-in-chief of the Yale Literary Magazine. While pursuing her M.F.A. in fiction writing at N.Y.U., she taught poetry to patients at Coler-Goldwater hospital as a Goldwater Fellow. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Saveur, The Oxford American, Guernica, Garden and Gun, the Harvard Review, Lenny Letter, and the New Orleans Review and elsewhere. On August 28, 2005, she evacuated from New Orleans in advance of Hurricane Katrina with her parents, their corgi, and a exchange student from Lyons, and met her husband, a fellow New Orleanian, three months later in Manhattan. After a decade in New York, she now lives in New Orleans with her husband and child. Her debut novel, The Floating World, was a semifinalist for the Crooks Corner Literary Prize and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. It was named one of the Best Books of 2017 by Kirkus, Amazon, Southern Living, and the Dallas Morning News and was a New York Times Editors’ Pick.

Rebecca Balcarcel

Rebecca Balcárcel is a bi-cultural Latina whose debut novel, The Other Half of Happy, won the Pura Belpré silver medal, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and was named one of the Top Ten First Novels of 2019 by Booklist. Balcárcel took her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, and her work has appeared in over forty journals, such as North American Review. She lives in Texas, where she enjoys her cat, hot tea, and teaching the students of Tarrant County College as Associate Professor of English.

John Barry

John M. Barry is an award-winning and best-selling author whose books have also involved him in policy making. The National Academies of Science named his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history, a study of the 1918 pandemic, the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine. The Society of American Historians named his earlier book Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America the year’s best book of American history, and in 2005 the New York Public Library named Rising Tide one of the 50 best books—whether poetry, fiction, or non-fiction-- in the preceding 50 years.  He is the only non-scientist ever to give the National Academies of Sciences Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecture, and he was the only non-scientist on a federal government Infectious Disease Board of Experts. His articles have appeared in such scientific journals as Nature and Journal of Infectious Disease, in such lay publications as The New York Times, Esquire, Time, and The Washington Post, and he has been a guest on every broadcast network in the United States, appearing on such shows as NBC’s Meet the Press and NPR’s All Things Considered. His most recent book is Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty.

An advisor to the Bush and Obama administrations on influenza preparedness and response, he served on the original team which recommended public health measures to mitigate a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.. After Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana congressional delegation asked him to chair a bipartisan working group on flood protection, and he served on both the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the levee board protecting metropolitan New Orleans, where he was the architect of the board's lawsuit against 97 energy companies for their role in coastal land loss. Barry has worked with the private sector and with state, federal, United Nations, and World Health Organization officials on influenza, water-related disasters, and risk communication. He serves on numerous advisory boards and is Distinguished Scholar at Tulane University’s Bywater Institute and adjunct faculty at the Tulane University School of Public health and Tropical Medicine.

Emily Bernard

Emily Bernard was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B. A. and Ph. D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Boston Globe Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, Green Mountains Review, Oxtford American, Plough shares, TheNew Republic, and Her essays have been reprinted in Best American Essays, Best African American Essays, and Best of Creative Nonfiction. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, was a New York TimesNotable Book of the Year. She has received fellowships and grants from Yale University, Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center, and The MacDowell Colony. A contributing editor at The American Scholar, Emily is the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She lives in South Burlington with her husband John, twin daughters Isabella & Giulia, Sammy the dog, a gentle giant, and Willie & Tom, two very interesting cats.

Jason Berry

Jason Berry achieved renown for his pioneering investigation on clergy sex abuse in, Lead Us Not into Temptation (1992). Vows of Silence (2004)

followed the story deep into the Vatican and became a prize-winning 2008 documentary he produced. Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the

Catholic Church received the 2011 Best Book Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors. Jason has also done extensive cultural writing with Up

from the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II (1986), the novel Last of the Red Hot Poppas (2006) and City of a Million Dreams: A History of

New Orleans at Year 300 (2018), which he researched with Guggenheim and NEH fellowships. His documentary based on the new book will premier in 2020.

Roy Blount, Jr.

Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty-four books, ranging from a novel about the first woman president (First Hubby) to two discourses on language (Alphabet Juice and Alphabetter Juice, or The Joy of Text) and most recently: Save Room For Pie. His first book, About Three Bricks Shy of a Load, has been called the best book ever about pro football by both the New Yorker and The New York Times. He edited the anthology Roy Blount's Book of Southern Humor and has contributed to many, many periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Oxford American, and Garden and Gun, for which he writes a regular column. He has also written for television and the movies and appeared frequently on TV talk shows and public radio. The University of North Carolina awarded him its Thomas Wolfe Award for lifetime achievement, and he has been elected to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, the Vanderbilt Student Media Hall of Fame, and the League of Southern Writers

Beau Boudreaux

Beau Boudreaux is the author of Rapunzel’s Braid, (Five Oaks Press, 2016), his second poetry collection. His first book of poems is Running Red, Running Redder (Cherry Grove Collections, 2012). His third book, Toy Park, was published in 2019. He currently teaches at Tulane University and lives in New Orleans.

Donna Brazile

Veteran political strategist Donna Brazile is the former interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the author of the New York Times bestseller Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House and the 2004 best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics. She is a co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics, which won the 2019 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Nonfiction.

Ms. Brazile has devoted her life to working for progressive change, responsible governance, and the advancement of all people in a society that is fair and equitable. Brazile first got involved in politics at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the playground was built, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Brazile has worked on every major presidential campaign since 1976 and in 2000 Ms. Brazile became the first African American woman to serve as the manager of a major party presidential campaign, running the campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.

Ms. Brazile loves working with young people, encouraging them to vote, to run for office, and to work within the system to strengthen it. She has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities across the country on such topics as “Inspiring Civility in American Politics,” “Race Relations in the Age of Obama,” “Why Diversity Matters,” and “Women in American Politics.” In 2013, Ms. Brazile was appointed by President Obama to serve on the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She is also the proud recipient of more than ten honorary doctorate degrees from major colleges and universities, including her alma mater Louisiana State University. In October 2017, Ms. Brazile was the recipient of the W.E.B Du Bois Medal, Harvard’s highest honor in African American studies. Brazile has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University since 2002 and spent the fall of 2017 serving as a Joan Shorenstein fellow in Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Howard University has appointed Ms. Brazile as the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy for two consecutive academic years. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and hosting a lecture series to engage the Howard community on several subjects, including politics, voting, criminal justice reform and civility.

O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 “remarkable visionaries” for the magazine’s first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s highest award for political achievement. In 2016, Ms. Brazile was awarded Wonk of the Year from the Kennedy Political Union at American University. In March 2018, Black Enterprise awarded Ms. Brazile with the Barbara Graves Legacy Award.

Ms. Brazile has worked passionately on behalf of her beloved hometown of New Orleans. In the aftermath of the two catastrophic hurricanes that devastated the Gulf region, Ms. Brazile was appointed by former Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve on the Louisiana Recovery Board to work for the rebuilding of the state and to advocate for the Gulf recovery on the national stage. Ms. Brazile was also appointed by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to serve on the Tricentennial Commission.

Ms. Brazile is a contributor to Fox News and was formerly a contributor to ABC News and CNN. Ms. Brazile was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Program, Good Morning America (2016-2017) in connection with her work with ABC. She has also been a syndicated newspaper columnist for Universal U’Click and a prolific writer with articles appearing in nearly every major newspaper in the nation. She moonlights as an actress and is especially honored to have made three cameo appearances on CBS’s The Good Wife, and two cameo appearances on Netflix’s series House of Cards. She most recently appeared on BET's Being Mary Jane. Ask her and she’ll tell you that acting, after all, is the key to success in politics.

Ms. Brazile is the founder and director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.

David Brooks

David Brooks's column on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times started in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and the Atlantic Monthly, and he is currently a commentator on "The Newshour with Jim Lehrer." He is the author of "Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There" and “On Paradise Drive : How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense,” both published by Simon & Schuster.

Mr. Brooks joined The Weekly Standard at its inception in September 1995, having worked at The Wall Street Journal for the previous nine years. His last post at the Journal was as op-ed editor. Prior to that, he was posted in Brussels, covering Russia, the Middle East, South Africa and European affairs. His first post at the Journal was as editor of the book review section, and he filled in for five months as the Journal's movie critic.

Mr. Brooks graduated from the University of Chicago in 1983, and worked as a police reporter for the City News Bureau, a wire service owned jointly by the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times.

He is also a frequent analyst on NPR’s "All Things Considered" and the "Diane Rehm Show." His articles have appeared in the The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, the Washington Post, the TLS, Commentary, The Public Interest and many other magazines. He is editor of the anthology "Backward and Upward: The New Conservative Writing" (Vintage Books).

Sarah M. Broom

Sarah M. Broom is a writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York State.

Jill Conner Browne

“Boss Queen” Jill Conner Browne conceived of and founded the Sweet Potato Queens® in the early 1980s. After passing through a patch of the doldrums, she found herself in need of some excitement, and a new direction. Jill discovered that she lived near Vardaman, Mississippi, self- proclaimed Sweet Potato Capital of the World, and inspiration struck—she volunteered to be the queen for the farmers’ annual festival. Although the crowning never materialized, the prospect of being the queen of anything was too good to pass up; so, in 1982 Jill entered herself and a few similarly inspired friends in Jackson, Mississippi’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The four original Queens all wore green, hand-me-down, ball gowns and tiaras, and waved to the crowd from the bed of an old pickup truck. It was modest, but it was a start. The Queenly costume has undergone several upgrades since then, and now consists of a green-sequined dress (stuffed to its voluptuous forty-pound carrying weight), flowing red wigs, Revlon® “Love That Pink” lipstick, and real-live majorette boots. By 2011 the Sweet Potato Queens®entourage had outgrown the St. Paddy’s parade; so, Jill partnered with Fondren Renaissance Foundation and created the Zippity Doo Dah® Weekend, benefiting Children’s of Mississippi, the only hospital in the state where any child can be treated, regardless of ability to pay.
In the 2014 Zippity Doo Dah® event in Fondren, the Queens presented the first and only statewide Welcome Home Parade for Viet Nam Veterans, with local VVA members serving as the Grand Marshals. The first seven Zippity Doo Dah® events raised over $500,000 for sick and injured children of Mississippi.
In 2018, a renewed collaboration with the organizers of Hal’s St. Paddy’s Parade was achieved. Beginning in 2019, that event is moving to the Queens’ traditional date of the 4th weekend in March and the Queens will be rejoining the downtown event, with the expectation of even bigger crowds in attendance and more money raised for Children’s of Mississippi.
Jill has written nine books: Fat Is The New 30: The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Coping with (the crappy parts of) Life, (Amazon Publishing, 2012); American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queen’s Guide to Preserving your Assets, (Simon & Schuster, 2009); The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit (Simon & Schuster, 2008); her sixth book is her first work of fiction: The Sweet Potato Queens’ 1st Big-Ass Novel: Stuff we didn’t actually do, but could have and may yet (Simon & Schuster, 2007); her fifth book—a New York Times® bestseller—is The Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner and Divorce Guide, (Crown Publishers, 2005), an ingenious flip-book; her second #1 New York Times® bestseller is The Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love is Either Married, Gay, or Dead (Three Rivers Press, 2004); her first #1 New York Times®bestseller is The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner) (Three Rivers Press, 2003); the national bestseller God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (Three Rivers Press, 2001); and The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love (Three Rivers Press, 1999)—also a New York Times® bestseller and the work that started it all—has been translated into German and Japanese. Jill has won awards for her readings of the audio versions of her books and she also narrates, Building Blocks, a documentary about cultural recovery on the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.
SWEET POTATO QUEENS—the Musical—premiered March 2016 in Houston, Texas at Theater Under the Stars, Underground—is based on the Sweet Potato Queens®. Grammy® award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester wrote the music; the lyrics are by Oscar® nominee, international multiple #1 songwriter and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, Sharon Vaughn; and, the stage play is by Rupert Holmes, the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony® Awards for Best Book, Best Music and Lyrics, and Best Musical for The Mystery of Edwin Drood. SWEET POTATO QUEENS—the Musical is currently available for licensing through TRW. for more information.

Jill has been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, People, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, The St. Petersburg Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Forbes, SOUTH, The London Observer Magazine (UK), and Bella Magazine (UK), and Today in English(France) just to name a few; she has appeared on numerous TV shows, including three times on The CBS Early Show and three times on Good Morning America; she been on the Today Show, CBS News Sunday Morning, The Other Half, The Wayne Brady Show, The Caroline Rhea Show, Southern Living Presents(nominated for a 2005 Regional EMMY®), The Rick & Bubba® Show twice, CMT’s 100 Greatest Love Songs, Tucker Carlson, Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s TV productions of Writers, (The “Southern Humorists” episode featuring Jill won a 2005 Regional EMMY®) and Mississippi Roads; Jill represents Mississippi in the History Channel’s mini-series, The States (2007), and a photograph of her attending a luncheon in President George W. Bush’s private dining room is prominently shown in the History Channel’s The White House: Behind Closed Doors (2008); Jill has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Through Jill’s books, personal appearances, and social media she has inspired 6,400 registered Sweet Potato Queen Wannabe™ Chapter Groups, in 37 countries around the world.

Jill is a founding member of the Women’s Fund of The Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. She assisted Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, raising over $100,000 in cash through her website; she cooked with Chefs for Humanity™ for law enforcement and victims on the Gulf Coast; she did clean-up detail with Camp Coast Care and she participated in the nationally televised Mississippi Rising Gala Concert, raising in excess of $15 Million. Jill serves on the Volunteer Board of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and on the Executive Board of Trustees for Extra Table—a not-for-profit that provides healthy food in bulk to food pantries and soup kitchens in Mississippi. Jill received the Mississippi National Guard Patriot Award for her support of our military and was chosen by Mississippi Business Journal for their 50 Leading Business Women in Mississippi. The Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women awarded Jill Woman of the Year 2013 for her outstanding contributions in the Performing Arts & Entertainment Field. Jill received the Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence 2017 GIVE Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Building Initiatives.

The International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society registered the cultivar: Nymphaea “Queen Jill,” a waterlily specifically created to honor Jill’s charitable works—with a portion of global sales benefitting Batson Children’s Hospital.
When Jill is not writing or speaking at fundraising events around the country, she lives and reigns in Raymond, MS, with the leetle keety that came with their 189-year old house, a rescued 3-legged Australian Shepard, a rescued Lab-Weimaraner mix, a rescued Lab- Coonhound mix, a rescued Lab-“party mix” and her husband…also adopted. And no, he’s not the Sweet Potato King.

William Craft Brumfield

Professor William Craft Brumfield, recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2000) and Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 1992-93, is Professor of Slavic studies and Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University. In 2002, he was elected to the State Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences. In 2006, he was elected Honorary Fellow of the Russian Academy of the Fine Arts—the only American elected to two Russian state academies.

Further information about Professor William Craft Brumfield is available via the Tulane University Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies.

Ginny Brzezinski

Richard Campanella

Prof. Richard Campanella, geographer and Associate Dean for Research with the Tulane School of Architecture, is the author of eleven books and over 220 articles on New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi region, geography, history, architecture, and related topics. The only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award, Campanella has also received the Louisiana Literary Award, the Williams Prize, the Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Scholarship in the Public Interest, and the Tulane Honors Professor of the Year Award. In 2016, the Government of France named Campanella as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, and in 2019, the State of Louisiana awarded him the 20th annual Louisiana Writer Award.

Stephanie Carter

Stephanie Jane Carter wrote The Little Local New Orleans Cookbook (Countryman 2019) and co-authored The A-Z Encyclopedia of Food Controversies and the Law (ABC-Clio 2010).

She was the editor of Eater New Orleans and the editor of Edible New Orleans. Her work has been featured in Family Circle, Eater, the James Beard Foundation, Here magazine, Edible New Orleans, and Culture, among others.

Awards include the Legacy Award in journalism from Les Dames d’Escoffier International, New Orleans City Business Women of the Year award, Eddy awards for recipe-writing, and more. Work that she assigned and edited was chosen for The Best Food Writing anthology twice.

She’s the co-founder and president of Les Dames d’Escoffier New Orleans chapter. She was also featured in Me Voy A Comer El Mundo, a food travel show on the food network in Spain.

She has cooked professionally at Restaurant Mörwarld in Vienna, Austria; The Greenbrier in West Virginia; Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana; and many more restaurants. She also spent five years working for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, curating exhibits, giving talks on culinary history, and editing Okra magazine.

Carter has an MA in philosophy and a BA from Tulane University and an AOS degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America.

James Carville

Jean Case

Jean Case, the Chairman of the National Geographic Society and CEO of the Case Foundation, is a philanthropist, investor and internet and impact investing pioneer who advocates for the importance of embracing a more fearless approach to innovate and bring about transformational breakthroughs. She is the author of the new book, Be Fearless: 5 Principles for a Life of Breakthroughs and Purpose.

Her career in the private sector, including as a senior executive at AOL, spanned nearly two decades before co-founding the Case Foundation in 1997. Under her leadership, the Case Foundation has been recognized for its innovative efforts to address significant social challenges, harnessing the best impulses of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact.

In addition, Jean currently serves on the boards of National Geographic Partners and the White House Historical Association as well as on the advisory boards of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, Brain Trust Accelerator Fund and Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation.

Steve Case

Steve Case is one of America's best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future.

As Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm he co-founded in 2005, Steve partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses. Revolution invests in and actively helps build companies leveraging technology to disrupt existing markets. This includes both early and mid-stage growth companies through both the Revolution Growth fund, created in 2011, and the Revolution Ventures fund, launched in 2013. Revolution has backed more than 30 companies, including: sweet green, Zipcar, Revolution Foods, DraftKings, Uptake and Framebridge.

In 2014, Steve and Revolution launched the Rise of the Rest, a platform to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs that are starting and scaling businesses outside of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. Steve frequently tours the country by bus to meet with civic leaders, founders, investors and local corporate executives to champion citywide efforts to jumpstart entrepreneurship. As part of the initiative, Steve announced The Rise of the Rest Seed fund in December 2017.

Steve’s entrepreneurial career began in 1985 when he co-founded America Online (AOL). Under Steve’s leadership, AOL became the world’s largest and most valuable Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL was the first Internet company to go public and the best performing stock of the 1990s. At its peak, nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. In 2000, Steve negotiated the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Steve agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed.

Steve’s passion for helping entrepreneurs remains his driving force. In 2011, he was the founding chair of the Startup America Partnership— an effort launched at the White House to accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Steve also was the founding co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he chaired the subcommittee on entrepreneurship.

Steve has been a leading voice in shaping government policy on issues related to entrepreneurship, working across the aisle to advance public policies that expand access to capital and talent. He was instrumental in passing the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and is active in advocating on behalf of immigration reform and legislation that supports and accelerates the emergence of startup ecosystems in rising cities.

Steve is also Chairman of the Case Foundation, which he established with his wife Jean in 1997. Together the Cases have invested in hundreds of organizations, initiatives and partnerships with a focus on leveraging the Internet and entrepreneurial approaches to strengthen the social sector. In 2010, Steve and Jean joined The Giving Pledge and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Brian DeMare

Professor Brian DeMare specializes in modern Chinese history.

Research Interests
A cultural historian studying the Communist Party's great enterprise, Professor DeMare researches how Chinese citizens have negotiated with the politicization of their everyday lives. Mass campaigns, revolutionary art, and rural cultural workers are the primary concerns driving his research agenda. His new book Mao's Cultural Army: Drama Troupes in China's Rural Revolution, explores the political uses of cultural performance in the rise of the Chinese Communist Party and the early years of the People's Republic of China. He is currently writing and editing books on the epic land reform campaigns that shook the Chinese countryside during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Teaching Interests
Professor DeMare offers a wide selection of courses on East Asian history. Survey courses cover the entirety of Chinese history, from Peking Man to the post-revolutionary era. Seminars allow students to delve into a variety of topics, including imperialism, gender, and empire.

Selected Publications
Mao's Cultural Army: Drama Tropes in China's Rural Revolution
Charting their training, travels, and performances, this innovative study explores the role of the artists that roamed the Chinese countryside in support of Mao's communist revolution. DeMare traces the development of Mao's 'cultural army' from its genesis in Red Army propaganda teams to its full development as a largely civilian force composed of amateur and professional drama troupes in the early years of the PRC. Drawing from memoirs, artistic handbooks, and rare archival sources, Mao's Cultural Army uncovers the arduous and complex process of creating revolutionary dramas that would appeal to China's all-important rural audiences. The Communists strived for a disciplined cultural army to promote party policies, but audiences often shunned modern and didactic shows, and instead clamored for traditional works. DeMare illustrates how drama troupes, caught between the party and their audiences, did their best to resist the ever growing reach of the PRC state. This is the first book in the new Cambridge Studies in the History of the People's Republic of China series.

"The Romance and Tragedy of Rural Revolution: Narratives and Novels of Land Reform in Mao's China"
Clio: A Journal of literature, History, and the Philosophy of History. Summer 2014, Vol. 43, #4
Click here to read a PDF copy of the article.

"Local Actors and National Politics - Rural Amateur Drama Troupes and Mass Campaigns in Hubei Province, 1949-1953"
Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Fall 2012, Vol 24, #2
Click here to read PDF copy of the article.

"Casting (Off) Their Stinking Airs: Chinese Intellectuals and Land Reform, 1946-52"
The China Journal, #67, January 2012
Click here to read a PDF copy of the article.

Fellowships and Awards
Young Mellon Professor, 2014-2016
Tulane University's School of Liberal Arts awarded Professor DeMare a Young Mellon Professorship in recognition of his research and teaching contributions.

Visiting Fellow, 2012
Professor DeMare was selected as a Visiting Fellow by the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). While in residence at FAU, Prof. DeMare conducted a research at the Shanghai-Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) archive, lead seminar discussions and gave a lecture on his most recent work. Prof. DeMare also presented his research at the Free University of Berlin.
FAU Visiting Professorship Poster

Peking University Harvard-Yenching Fellowship 2005-2006

National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellowship, 2004-2005

Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, 2003-2004

Justin Devillier

Justin Devillier was raised in Dana Point, California, a small beach town in South Orange County. He spent summers fishing for Yellowtail and Albacore tuna, and in the fall and winter he would dive for lobsters just steps from his front door. This bounty of local seafood inspired him to enter the culinary industry, and after working in local restaurants right out of high school he decided to focus all of his time on becoming a chef. In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans in search of a vibrant restaurant community. He cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle, where he learned the intricacies of French cuisine from his mentor, Chef Anne Kearny-Sands.

In 2004, Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery as a line cook, housed in a century-old building with a storied history, and was promoted to sous chef after one year. Following Hurricane Katrina, he helped re-build the restaurant’s infrastructure, and in 2007 was promoted to executive chef. A short three years later, Devillier and his wife, Mia, took over majority ownership in 2010. At La Petite Grocery, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like Turtle Bolognese, Panéed Rabbit, and Blue Crab Beignets. He was named a 2008 “Chef to Watch” by the Times-Picayune. He was also named 2014’s “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine. In 2016, Justin won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South after being named a finalist in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In early 2015 the Devilliers opened their second restaurant, Balise, named after one of the first French settlements at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse in the Central Business District, Balise celebrates New Orleans as a port city and its unique access to a wide variety of ingredients.

In his free time, Devillier is an avid fisherman and hunter, and loves spending time at the beach with his wife and three young daughters.

Johnette Downing

Johnette Downing is a New Orleans multi-award winning musician, singer and author presenting Louisiana Roots concerts and author visits for children, as well as keynotes and workshops for educators globally. Dedicated to celebrating childhood, nurturing cultural exchanges and fostering literacy through her music and books, Johnette has performed in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, North America and the Caribbean. Johnette’s presentations speak to a child’s interests in an engaging, interactive, thought-provoking, educational, entertaining and culturally respectful way; earning her a reputation for being the “Musical Ambassador to Children” and the “Pied Piper of Louisiana Music Traditions.”

Downing has garnered multiple awards including a 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, 59th Grammy Award Participant Certificate, eight Parents’ Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, two Parent’s Guide To Children’s Media Awards, four National Parenting Publications Awards, a Family Choice Award, two Family Review Center Awards, Family Review Center GoldAward, Family Review Center Best of the Year Award, DAR Literacy Promotion Award, an Imagination Award, and a Haiku International Association Honorable Mention Award. Her work has received rave reviews on and in Nick Jr. Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Parent’s Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, American Library Association’s Booklist, School Library Journal, Washington Post, Early Childhood News, Cookie Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, New Orleans Magazine, and Big Apple Parent to name a few. Further, she was selected as one of “The Women of the Year 2008” by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine, “Thirty People to Watch in 2000” by New Orleans Magazine and “Forty Under Forty” by Gambit Weekly Magazine.

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers is the author of many books, including The Circle, The Monk of Mokha, What is the What, A Hologram for the King, and The Lifters.

He is founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a humor website, and a journal of new writing, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world.

Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers around the United States. Numerous other organizations worldwide operate with inspiration from the 826 National model. Realizing the need for greater college access for low-income students, Eggers founded ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible.

Eggers’s novel What Is the What, about the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from the civil war in South Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng. VADF operates secondary schools in South Sudan.

Eggers’s books for young readers include What Can a Citizen Do?, Her Right Foot, This Bridge Will Not Be Gray, and The Wild Things, among others.

Trained as a painter, Eggers’s artworks have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Nevada Museum of Art, the Biennial of the Americas, and numerous other galleries and art spaces. Eggers is winner of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Education, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the TED Prize, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 2018, Eggers co-founded The International Congress of Youth Voices, an annual gathering of 100 extraordinary young writers and activists; their landmark meeting in San Francisco resulted in a youth-written manifesto published by The Guardian.

He lives with his family in Northern California. They have no significant pets.

Freddi Evans

Freddi Williams Evans, an independent scholar, is internationally recognized for her scholarship on historic Congo Square. She is the author of Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square, which received the Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Bronze Medal in 2018 and was a finalist for the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Her book Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, the first comprehensive study of the location, received the 2012 Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year Award and is published in French. Evans publishes articles and speaks nationally and internationally on the landmark. Her research and advocacy influenced the 2011 New Orleans City Council Ordinance that made the popular name “Congo Square” the official name of the location. Evans is also the author of three picture books: Hush Harbor - Praying in Secret, The Battle of New Orleans: the Drummer’s Story, and A Bus of Our Own.

Rodrigo Fuentes

Rodrigo Fuentes is a Guatemalan writer of short stories. He received the II Premio Centroamericano Carátula in 2014, and his collection Trucha Panza arriba was a finalist for the 2018 Premio Gabriel García Márquez . His works have been published in Guatemala, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, as well as in translation in France and Scotland. Fuentes is also the co-founder and editor of the magazine Suelta and of the digital publishing house and literary journal Traviesa. He currently teaches in the Department of Spanish at College of the Holy Cross.

Emma Fick

Emma Fick was born in 1991 in Louisiana, USA, and she received her BA in English Literature and Art History from the University of Alabama. She began illustrating after moving to Serbia in 2013, and has since been inspired to pursue a full-time career as a travel illustrator. Today, she lives in Belgrade and is working on an illustrated book about Serbian culture. This is her second solo exhibition.

Fick’s primary aesthetic influences include Medieval, Byzantine and Early Renaissance art, Botticelli, Saul Steinberg, Frida Kahlo, and Maira Kalman. Fick is particularly influenced by the Medieval and Early Renaissance marriage of word and image, exemplified in the illuminated manuscripts and emblem books that were a hallmarks of the periods.

Fick’s artistic credo centers on accessibility. Historically, the image has been used in tandem with words to aid in communication: the image should not confound, it should clarify; it should not segregate, it should equalize. Just as stained-glass windows of the Renaissance were nicknamed “the Bible of the poor” because they utilized images to convey elaborate narratives, Fick’s travel illustrations seek to communicate culture and stories across language and sociological boundaries.

Fick works primarily with pen and watercolor. Her work can be enjoyed on her website and social media platforms.

Cheryl Gerber

Cheryl Gerber is a documentary photographer working in her native New Orleans. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, the Associated Press, New Orleans Magazine, and Gambit for more than 25 years. Her book “New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy” by UL Press is in its second edition. Her new book “Cherchez La Femme: New Orleans Women” by the UPM was released January 2020.

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.

Eddie Glaude

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the former president of the American Academy of Religion, the largest professional organization of scholars of religion in the world. Glaude is the author of several important books including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, which has been described as “one of the most imaginative, daring books of the twenty-first century.” His most recent book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, is scheduled for release in April of 2020. Imani Perry describes the book as “precisely the witness we need for our treacherous times. Glaude is also a columnist for Time magazine and a regular contributor on MSNBC. He hails from Moss Point, Mississippi, a small town on the Gulf Coast, and is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Annette Gordon-Reed

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2009), a subject she had previously written about in Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (University Press of Virginia, 1997). She is also the author of Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010). Her most recently published book (with Peter S. Onuf) is “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). She is the 2018-2019 President of Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Her honors include a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, and the Woman of Power & Influence Award from the National Organization for Women in New York City. Gordon-Reed was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Chris Granger

Chris Granger, a Lafayette native, works at The Advocate/The Times-Picayune and its website He covered the Iraq war for the paper and was part of the team that earned two Pulitzer prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
Granger's work has also appeared in magazines ranging from Travel & Leisure to Saveur, and he has photographed several acclaimed books, including Real Cajun with Chef Donald Link, which was named the best cookbook in America by the James Beard Foundation.

Roberta Brandes Gratz

An award-winning journalist and urbanist, Roberta Brandes Gratz has been observing and writing about cities – how they grow, fall apart, recover – for more than 40 years. NYC born and raised, Roberta started her journalism career as a reporter for the New York Post under Dolly Schiff. She left when Rupert Murdoch bought the paper and went on to write five books on urban change. The last one was: “We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City.”

Earlier books were: “The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs,” “The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way,” “Cities Back From the Edge: New Life For Downtown,” and “A Frog, A Wooden House, A Stream and A Trail: Ten years of Community Revitalization in Central Europe.”

Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, New York Magazine, New York Times Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She served on the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Sustainability Advisory Board for NYC under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In 2004, Roberta, with author/urbanist Jane Jacobs, founded The Center For the Living City to build on Jacobs’ground-breaking work.

She has been a recipient of fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, Surdna Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Fannie Mae Foundation, and writing awards from the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Assn, Municipal Art Society, the New York Press Club, the City Club of New York and the Press Club of New Orleans.

John Grisham

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, and Gray Mountain) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Jason Hardy

Jason Hardy taught high school English before getting his MFA from Louisiana State University and later became a probation and parole officer in New Orleans. He lives in New Orleans and is a special agent for the FBI. The Second Chance Club is his first book.

Karissa Haugeberg

Research Interests

In Women against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century, University of Illinois Press, 2017, Haugeberg traces the forty-year history of the contemporary U.S. anti-abortion movement, from the 1960s into the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Haugeberg has begun a second project on the history of nursing in the United States. This book will examine how the nursing profession engaged social movements for civil rights and gender equality between 1960 and 2000.

Selected Publications

“Review Essay: Rethinking the Taxonomies of Civil Rights Work,” Journal of Urban History, forthcoming.
Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, 9th ed. with Cornelia H. Dayton, New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.

“Nursing and Hospital Abortions in the United States, 1967-1973,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 73, no. 3 (July 2018).

Women against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century. University of Illinois Press, 2017.

" 'How Come There's Only Men Up There?' Catholic Women's Grassroots Anti-Abortion Activism," Journal of Women's History 27, no 4 (Winter 2015): 38-61.


• NPR’s All Things Considered: “What Abortion Was Like in the U.S. before Roe v. Wade” May 20, 2019
• Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time: “Abortion: From Medical Issue to Divisive Political Issue” May 17, 2019
• C-SPAN class lecture: “The Legal History of Abortion in the U.S.” December 4, 2018
• LA Talk Radio with Lisa Tahir
• KPFA’s Letters and Politics (at the 32-minute mark)
• WUNC’s The State of Things
• The National Review’s Bookmonger Podcast
Fellowships & Awards
• Young Mellon Fellow, School of Liberal Arts, Tulane University 2018-
• Honorable Mention, Frances Richardson Keller-Sierra Book Prize for Women against Abortion, Western Association of Women Historians, 2018.
• Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars (ATLAS) Fellowship, 2017-2018.
• Committee on Research (COR) Faculty Research Grant, 2017-18.
• Co-recipient, Judith Lee Ridge Article Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2016.
• Mortar Board Award, Excellence in Teaching for an untenured member of the faculty, Tulane University, 2014.

Teaching Interests

U.S. women and gender; history of medicine; American social history; history of sexuality in the U.S.; history of reproductive health in the U.S.

Yuri Herrera

Yuri Herrera (b. 1970) is among the foremost Latin American writers today. His first novel, Trabajos del reino (Kingdom Cons), won the Premio Binacional de Novela Joven 2003 and received the “Otras voces, otros ámbitos” prize for the best novel published in Spain in 2008. His second novel, Señales que precederán al fin del mundo (Signs Preceding the End of the World), was published to great critical acclaim. It was a finalist of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize and was named one of the 100 best books of the 21st century by The Guardian; it was his first work to appear in English. His third novel is La transmigración de los cuerpos (The Transmigration of Bodies). He has also published two books for children in Mexico: ¡Éste es mi nahual!and Los ojos de Lía. 2016 was an exceptionally noteworthy year: with translator Lisa Dillman, he shared the Best Translated Book Award for the translation of Signs Preceding the End of the World; Rice University and Literal Publishing issued Talud, a collection of his short stories; and he received the Anna Seghers Prize at the Academy of Arts of Berlin for the body of his work. His most recent books are the historical narrative El incendio de la mina El Bordo and the sci-fi short story collection Diez planetas (2019). Herrera taught literary theory, creative writing, and Latin American literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte before coming to Tulane University, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Lisa Howorth

Lisa Howorth was born in Washington, D.C. where her family has lived for four generations. She is a former librarian, taught art history at the University of Mississippi, and has written on art, travel, dogs, and music for the Oxford American and Garden &Gun, among other publications. In 1996, Howorth received a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, and in 2007 was awarded a MacDowell fellowship. Her first novel is Flying Shoes (Bloomsbury, 2014) and her latest is Summerlings (Doubleday, 2019), nominated for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction. Howorth lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she and her husband, Richard, founded Square Books in 1979.

Ladee Hubbard

Ladee Hubbard is the author of the novel The Talented Ribkins which received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. She received a BA from Princeton University, a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her short fiction has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Callaloo and Guernica, among other venues. Her film and book reviews appear in The Times Literary Supplement. She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and has received additional fellowships and grants from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, MacDowell Colony and Sewanee Writers Conference among others. Her second novel, The Rib King is forthcoming from the Amistad imprint of HarperCollins in 2020. A collection of short stories is forthcoming in 2021. She lives in New Orleans.

Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is a Professor of History at Tulane and an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg, a financial services firm based in New York City. He is the past CEO of the Aspen Institute, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow, and has been the chairman of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson’s most recent biography, Leonardo da Vinci (2017), offers new discoveries about Leonardo’s life and work, weaving a narrative that connects his art to his science. He is also the author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

He is a host of the show “Amanpour and Company” on PBS and CNN, a contributor to CNBC, and host of the podcast “Trailblazers, from Dell Technologies.”

Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of digital media before becoming the magazine’s 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is chair emeritus of Teach for America. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held from 2009 to 2012.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of the Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. He serves on the board of United Airlines, the New Orleans City Planning Commission, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Society of American Historians, the U.S. Defense Department Innovation Board, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Valerie Jarrett

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, published in April 2019. She is a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and Attn and serves as the Board Chair of When We All Vote and the Co-Chair of The United State of Women. Jarrett also serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, 2U, Lyft, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Ms. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett worked throughout her tenure at the White House to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates. She led the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration’s advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare, and led the campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence.

Ms. Jarrett has a background in both the public and private sectors. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, the Commissioner of Planning and Development and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Chair of Chicago Transit Board. Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” and the Abner J. Mikva Legal Legends Award.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

T.R. Johnson

T. R. Johnson is a Professor of English at Tulane University. He is the editor of New Orleans: A Literary History(2019, and the authorThe Other Side of Pedagogy: Lacan’s Four Discourses and the Development of the Student Writer(2014). For the last two decades, he has lived near the Mississippi River in the 9th Ward of New Orleans and hosted a contemporary jazz radio program at WWOZ 90.7 FM.

Margarita Jover

Margarita Jover received a Master of Architecture degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1995. Together with Iñaki Alday, she founded the internationally awarded firm aldayjover architecture and landscape in 1996 in Barcelona, Spain. The multidisciplinary, research-based practice focuses on innovation, and is particularly renowned for its leadership in a new approach to the relation between cities and rivers, in which the natural dynamics of flooding become part of the public space.

She has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra, the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, she was Research Faculty (2012-15), first Professor of Practice of the School of Architecture (2015-17) and tenured Associate Professor (2017-18).

Jover is co-author of the book Ecologies of Prosperity (ORO Editors, 2018) and The Water Park (ACTAR, 2008). She has been a juror for several honor awards, including the FAD Architecture Prize and Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture (2015), and for international competitions including the Glories Square in Barcelona and the Hainan Eco-Island in China.

Both in academic research and in practice, Jover promotes a broader understanding of architecture that aims to mitigate and reverse socioecological crises. Her academic research line discusses the reform of the current model of progress by promoting a specific socioecological urbanism.

Molly Kimball

Molly is a registered dietitian, nutrition journalist, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit with a passion to make it easy for people to live their strongest, healthiest lives.

A lifestyle dietitian and a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Molly has managed the nutrition program at Ochsner Fitness Center in New Orleans for more than 20 years, working with thousands of clients ranging from people like you and me to professional athletes. She’s learned what drives us, what motivates us, what works and what doesn’t, and what derails even our best intentions. Having the ability to dial into these behaviors and challenges fuels her work in our community and serves as the inspiration for Eat Fit.

She has been featured as a nutrition expert by a variety of national media outlets, including Vogue, The New York Times, Newsweek, Shape, Health, Fitness, Thrillist, Runner’s World, Well+Good, Cosmopolitan, WebMD, and

As a regular contributor to national and local publications, Molly covers all things related to nutrition and wellness. She has been the nutrition expert for New Orleans’ ABC affiliate WGNO since 2009, with weekly TV segments on WGNO’s Good Morning New Orleans. And now you can catch her podcast, FUELED wellness + nutrition with Molly Kimball, where she dives deeper into the science and the stories to educate and inspire.

Mitch Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu was the 61st Mayor of New Orleans (2010-2018). When he took office, the city was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and in the midst of the BP Oil Spill. Under Landrieu's leadership, New Orleans is widely recognized as one of the nation’s great comeback stories.

In 2015, Landrieu was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing, and in 2016 was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a Politico survey of mayors. He gained national prominence for his powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, which also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his New York Times best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting racism, and tackles
the broader history of slavery, race relations, and institutional inequalities that still plague America. He recently launched the E Pluribus Unum Fund, which will work to bring people together across the South around the issues of race, equity, economic opportunity and violence.

Prior to serving as Mayor, Landrieu served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Mitch and his wife Cheryl have five children.

Kris Lane

Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University.

Field Specialties
Global history, Colonial Latin America, Andes, political economy, mining, labor, environment, piracy

I am a historian specializing in the history of the Andes region of South America. Going back to my 1996 dissertation at the University of Minnesota, most of my scholarship has focused on extractive industries and their local, regional, and global effects.I have worked extensively in Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and more recently in Peru, Argentina, and Chile. The Andes Mountains have a long history of providing humans with metals and other minerals, and understanding the evolving and sometimes violent relationships built around mining -plus this activity's manifold environmental consequences - have not ceased to intrigue me.

In my 2002 book, Quito 1599: City and Colony in Transition(University of New Mexico Press), I attempted to tell the story of this equatorial Andean city and its vast hinterland in terms of Quito's early fame as a producer of gold. A former Inca capital, San Francisco de Quito became the seat of a royal Spanish appeals court and legislative body and ultimately the nucleus of the Republic of Ecuador. The early search for gold took Spanish conquistadors and thousands of native Andeans deep into the backcountry of the Pacific watershed and the upper Amazon, only to quickly exceed the limits of sustainability and to test the patience of native peoples and newly formed runaway slave communities.Quito 1599is an experiment in using a pivotal year to trace longer-term transformations in society and economy.

In my book Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires(Yale University Press, 2010), I followed the path of Colombian emeralds from the remote north Andean mines of Muzo and Chivor to the courts of the Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires, linked by multi-ethnic trading clans and other globe-trotting go-betweens. I also traced emeralds as they flowed to the courts and gem bourses of Europe. My basic model was that of a commodity-chain history, but I attempted to expand on this production-circulation-consumption approach in order to explain the complex shifts in meaning that emeralds underwent in their long journey from source to consumer -what some have termed the social life of things. The emerald in this "gunpowder" age was in no way a simple, bulk commodity.

My most recent book, Potosí: The Silver City that Changed the World (University of California Press, 2019), treats the rise and fall of colonial Latin America's richest mining boomtown, an early modern marvel and an environmental nightmare. By 1600, the Imperial Villa of Potosí was one of the largest cities in the Western Hemisphere and one of the highest anywhere. My main aim in this book is to reorient early modern world history by placing this improbable, multi-ethnic city and its silver mines and refineries at the center of the world. Potosí was the globe's number-one silver producer for many years, lubricating trade from Moscow to Macau, but it was also a major consumer of global products and an important regional slave market and redistribution hub. In social terms, the book examines how a remote Andean mining camp became a cosmopolitan stage that made space for people of all nations and classes, upending norms of race, gender, and sexuality even as fortunes rose and fell overnight. It was also a site of intense indigenous exploitation and mass death. I end by bringing the story of Potosí up to the present day.

In moving from raw commodities to semi-manufactured products, my current project, tentatively titledRoyal Scam: The Great Potosí Mint Fraud of 1649, traces the global significance of a major debasement scheme that arose within the royal mint at Potosí in the mid-seventeenth century. It so happened that the fabled silver mines of Potosí's Cerro Rico were not inexhaustible, or rather that their ores became more expensive to extract and refine. A resulting debt crisis hobbled silver refiners and their creditors, sparking an illegal form of financial innovation: debasing the king's coinage to cover the deficit. The secret could not long be kept given the global flow of Potosí silver, yet it took the king ofSpain's ministers over a decade to break up the great mint fraud of the 1640s. I trace the local crime, its corrupt circles, and its eventual punishment along with the fraud's global implications, revealing once again the complex backward and forward linkages that tied a remote Andean mining town to nearly every major economic center in the world. It is, in a sense, a tale for our times.

Behind the mint fraud project is a documentary history of another major seventeenth-century Potosí disaster: the outbreak of gangland warfare between the city's most powerful factions. Sometimes called the "Basque-Vicuña War," this bloody conflict pitted migrants from the Basque Country in northern Spain against nearly everyone else, but with prominent migrants from Extremadura (SW Spain) singled out as leaders. Drawn into the conflict as body guards, henchmen, and assassins were numerous footloose "vicuñas," the multi-ethnic high-plains drifters of their day, and behind the scenes were several powerful women. The worst violence exploded between 1622 and 1625, when a viceroy issued a general amnesty. My colleague Timothy F. Johnson (U. Nebraska -Kearney) is translating a series of documents that I have collected from archives in Bolivia, Spain, the U.S., and the U.K. I am composing an introduction and adding annotations. Our intention is to provide readers with a full sense of the conflicting narratives and intense passions generated by this early inter-ethnic American "war." It was a series of backstreet showdowns involving rapiers and matchlock pistols in theThree Musketeers mode, but it was also a war of words.

My other interests include the world history of piracy, which inspired me to expand an earlier book intoPillaging the Empire: Global Piracy on the High Seas, 1500-1750 (Routledge, 2015).I have just publishedPiracy in the Early Modern Era: An Anthology of Sources(2019) with co-author Arne Bialuschewski of Trent University in Ontario, Canada.I am also planning to return to my earlier research on gold mining in colonial Colombia, from which my book on emeralds grew. The green Andes keep tugging at my heart.

As a teacher, I have always tinkered with textbooks, and with Matthew Restall (Penn State) I co-authoredLatin America in Colonial Times(Cambridge, 2018), now in its second edition. An abiding interest in world history led me to work with co-authors Bonnie Smith, Richard Von Glahn, and Marc Van de Mieroop on the textbookWorld in the Making: A Global History(Oxford, 2018). My feeling is that all historians should attempt to work and teach at various scales from micro to macro, and to accept the global challenge.

As service to my profession, I have been General Editor of the interdisciplinary journalColonial Latin American Reviewsince 2010. I also serve on the editorial boards of several U.S., European, and Latin American journals, including Fronteras de la Historia and Itinerario. With Matthew Restall I edit theCambridge Latin American Studies monograph series and on my own I edit the Diálogosseries of books with broader appeal for the University of New Mexico Press.

Susan Langenhennig, Danielle Del Sol, and John Pope

SUSAN LANGENHENNIG has been writing about New Orleans for more than 20 years. She
is the director of communications for the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans and
editor of its magazine, Preservation in Print. Prior to joining the PRC, Langenhennig was a writer
and editor for The Times-Picayune, where she was a member of the team covering Hurricane
Katrina’s aftermath, resulting in two Pulitzer Prizes for the newspaper. A New Orleans native, she lives in a century-old Eastlake Victorian with her husband and two pugs.

DANIELLE DEL SOL has been executive director of the Preservation Resource Center of New
Orleans since 2018. Before that, she served for seven years as editor of Preservation in Print, the monthly magazine of the PRC, and as the organization’s communications director. Del Sol is an adjunct lecturer in the Master of Preservation Studies program at Tulane University, of which she is also an alumna. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hendrix College, and became passionate about historic preservation in a former career as a journalist.

JOHN POPE, who has been a reporter in New Orleans since 1973, was a member of The
Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes and a George Polk Award for coverage of
Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. An anthology of his obituaries, Getting Off at Elysian
Fields, was published in 2015. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of
Texas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Erik Larson

Erik Larson is a master of crafting narrative nonfiction that will keep you on the edge of your seat. His vividly written, bestselling books have won several awards and been published in nearly 20 countries. In his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile, he delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz.

On Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when—in the face of unrelenting horror—Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound both a country and a family together.

Larson is the author of five New York Times bestsellers. The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over six years, was a National Book Award finalist, and won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing. The Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, Isaac’s Storm, and Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania have collectively sold more than nine million copies.

Kiese Laymon

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa in Fall 2017. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and Heavy: An American Memoir. Heavy, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose and Audible’s Audiobook of the Year, was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by the The Undefeated, New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Library Journal , The Washington Post , Southern Living , Entertainment Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times Critics. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, ESPN the Magazine, Granta, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Fader, Oxford American, Vanity Fair, The Best American Series, Ebony, Travel and Leisure, Paris Review, Guernica and more.

Nancy Lemann

Nick Lemann

Nicholas Lemann is Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor and dean emeritus at Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer for The New Yorker. His previous books include The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy and The Promised Land: The Great Migration and How It Changed America.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis has published many New York Times bestselling books on various subjects. His most recent works are The Fifth Risk,The Undoing Project,Flash Boys , and The Big Short. The Blind Side, published in 2006, tells the story of Michael Oher, a poor, illiterate African-American kid living on the streets of Memphis whose life is transformed after he is adopted by white Evangelical Christians. Before that he wrote Moneyball, a book ostensibly about baseball but also about the way markets value people. Both of his books about sports became movies, nominated for Academy Awards, as did his book about the 2008 financial crisis, The Big Short. His other works include Boomerang,The New New Thing, about Silicon Valley during the Internet boom; Coach, about the transformative powers of his own high school baseball coach; Losers, about the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Liar’s Poker, a Wall Street story based in part on his own experience working as a bond salesman for Salomon Brothers.

Mr. Lewis is a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributing writer to Audible. His articles have also appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Gourmet, Slate, Sports Illustrated, Foreign Affairs, and Poetry Magazine. He has served as editor and columnist for the British weekly The Spectator and as senior editor and campaign correspondent for The New Republic. He has filmed and narrated short pieces for ABC-TV’s “Nightline;” created and presented a four part documentary on the social consequences of the internet for the British Broadcasting Corporation; and recorded stories for the American public radio show, This American Life.

Mr. Lewis grew up in New Orleans and remains deeply interested and involved in the city. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Princeton and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children: Quinn, Dixie and Walker. In 2009 he published Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, about his attempts to raise them.

Mary Matalin

Mary Matalin is one of the most celebrated and popular conservative voices in America. As an author, television and radio host, and widely sought after political contributor, pundit and public speaker, she has become noted for her straightforward manner and insightful political repartee. Among her many roles and accomplishments, she has served under President Ronald Reagan, made her mark as George H.W. Bush's Campaign director and more recently as assistant to President George W. Bush, and as assistant and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, making her the first White House official to hold that double title.

Since that time, Matalin has made frequent television and radio appearances as a political commentator, securing a career in conservative media advocacy following decades of work in the GOP political trenches.

In addition to her successful careers in politics, television and radio, Matalin is also a widely read, respected and acclaimed author. Matalin co-authored the best-selling political campaign book All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President with her husband, James Carville. The book was named one of the top 5 best books on public relations by The Wall Street Journal. Matalin and Carville recently returned to the New York Times best sellers list with their newest book Love and War: 20 Years, 3 Presidents, 2 Daughters, One Louisiana Home, available now. Matalin also penned Letters to My Daughters, a series of short missives for her own daughters, making both The New York Times and the Washington Post best-seller lists.

Matalin relocated to New Orleans in 2008, where she is active in the cities efforts in higher education reform, entrepreneurial development and the Catholic Church.
Matalin serves on numerous boards including Tulane University's President's Council, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Loyola University’s Board of Trustees and The Louisiana Nature Conservancy. Along with her husband, James, Matalin served as Co-Chair for Super Bowl XLVII, the Katrina-10 Commemoration and the 2018 New Orleans Tri-Centennial Celebration. Matalin shares her home with Carville and their two daughters of evolving political persuasion.

Tracy Maurer

Who loves everything about books for kids? Tracy Nelson Maurer, that’s who! She’s written more than 100 books for children, including the award-winning picture-book biographies Samuel Morse, That’s Who!andJohn Deere, That's Who!These Junior Library Guild Selections have also been named “Best STEM Books” by the National Science Teaching Association. Another nonfiction title,Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, received starred reviews and inclusion on several annual “best of” lists. A frequent guest at schools and libraries, Tracy shares the stories behind the stories and reads her work with an interactive format, props, and loads of enthusiasm!She’s curious about most everything and knows a lot of odd fun facts, too, like which letter of the alphabet people use most often. (“E”, if you’re the curious type, too.)A graduate of the Hamline University MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, Tracy lives near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

General Stanley McChrystal

A retired four-star general, Stan McChrystal is the former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for creating a counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture. His leadership of JSOC is credited with the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The son and grandson of Army officers, McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 as an infantry officer, completed Ranger Training, and later Special Forces Training. In addition to commanding ISAF and JSOC, he held leadership and staff positions in the Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne Division, the XVIII Army Airborne Corp, and the Joint Staff. He is a graduate of the US Naval War College, and he completed fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000.

Since retiring from the military, McChrystal has served on several corporate boards of directors, including Deutsche Bank America, JetBlue Airways, Navistar, Siemens Government Technologies, Fiscal Note, and Accent Technologies. He is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on leadership. A passionate advocate for national service, McChrystal is the Chair of the Board of Service Year Alliance, which envisions a future in which a service year is a cultural expectation and common opportunity for every young American. Additionally, he is the author of the bestselling leadership books, My Share of the Task: A Memoir, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, and Leaders: Myth and Reality.

General McChrystal founded the McChrystal Group in January 2011. Recognizing that companies today are experiencing parallels to what he and his colleagues faced in the war theater, McChrystal established this advisory services firm to help businesses challenge the hierarchical, “command and control” approach to organizational management.

Denise McConduit

Denise lives in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of jazz and other unique customslike Mardi Gras, Jazz Festivals, and Debutante balls. She began writing poetry at an early age and then studied art. Her first magazine article was published in 1982 in Black New Orleans magazine. Later she had articles published in Essence Magazine and the New Orleans Tribune magazine. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she was a weekly columnist for the Times Picayune newspaper focusing on the recovery of her neighborhood.

Preserving cultural traditions through family stories is important to Denise. It's how she grew up and it's what she passes on. Her first book, “D.J. and the Zulu Parade” depicts the adventures of her son, “D.J” when he rode in a Mardi Gras Parade. That book led to two other stories about the intrepid boy: “D.J. and the Jazz Fest”and “D.J. and the Debutante Ball”. McConduit feels that writing culturally rich books are essential because it’s important for children see themselves in literature.

Her newest book is titled, “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read”.In this book young readers will meet Robbie, a stubborn little boy who doesn't like to read. When his wish is granted by a magician, his world gets topsy-turvy and he soon learns that life without reading is nothing to wish for! Denise often advises aspiring authors, "Do you have any interesting or funny characters in your family? If you do, you may want to write a story about them. I did!"

Denise has always been an avid reader and writer. In 2016 she was a featured presenter at the Arkansas Reading and Literacy (ARA) conference and received rave reviews for herTips forReluctant Readers presentation. Her personal mission is to write fun and meaningful stories for children.

Denise holds an English degree from the University of New Orleans and is available for conferences, library and school author visits:

Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell worked as an investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, for more than three decades. His stories have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. Mitchell is the winner of more than thirty national awards, including a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” the George Polk Award, Columbia’s John Chancellor Award, and the Sidney Hillman Prize. He is also a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. In 2019, Mitchell left The Clarion-Ledger and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting. Race Against Time is his first book.

Marc Morial

Marc Morial, who has been described as one of the few national leaders to possess “street smarts”, and “boardroom savvy”, is the current President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.

He served as the highly successful and popular Mayor of New Orleans as well as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He previously was a Louisiana State Senator, and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high profile practice.

He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity.

A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non Profit Leaders by the Non Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

Sybil Morial

SYBIL HAYDEL MORIAL is an educator, activist, and community leader in New Orleans, Louisiana. The wife of the first African American mayor of New Orleans, Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, Sybil spent her career in the education field, first as a public school teacher and later as an administrator at Xavier University in New Orleans.

Eric Motley

Eric L. Motley, Ph.D., is an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, responsible for Institutional Advancement and governance. He previously served as Vice President and Executive Director of National Programs and prior to that he served as Vice President and Managing Director of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. In addition to managing the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, he served as the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute-Rockefeller Foundation’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process, an independent, nonpartisan effort to evaluate the Federal government’s vetting and clearance procedures. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, he served as the Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors within the bureau of Public Diplomacy. In 2003, he became Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Presidential Personnel, where he managed the appointment process in the White House for over 1,200 presidentially-appointed advisory board and commission positions. He joined the White House staff as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel in 2001.

Eric serves on the Board of Directors of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, The James Madison Council of the Library of Congress, the Library Cabinet for the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mt. Vernon, jury member of the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s National Council, The John F. Kennedy Centennial Memorial Task Force, National Advisory Board of Honored, Young Concert Artists, Advisory Board of Planet Word Museum, Board of Overseers of Samford University and is a former member of the Chapter Board of the Washington National Cathedral. He is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC and the Grolier Club of New York City. Eric is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation and Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is an avid book collector of first editions and rare books with a concentration on the English writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. In February 2017, he published a memoir Madison Park, A Place of Hope telling the story of the small community he grew up in Montgomery, AL, that was founded in 1880 by a group of freed slaves.

Eric earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Samford University. As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he earned a Master of Letters in International Relations and a Ph.D. as the John Steven Watson Scholar.

Peter S. Onuf

Peter S. Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor Emeritus in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia and Senior Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (Monticello). A specialist in the history of the early American republic, Onuf was educated at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his A.B. in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1973, and has taught at Columbia University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Southern Methodist University before arriving in Virginia in 1990. In 2008-2009 Onuf was Harmsworth Professor of American History at the University of Oxford; in 2014 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work on Thomas Jefferson’s political thought, culminating in Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood (2000) and The Mind of Thomas Jefferson (2007) grows out of earlier studies on the history of American federalism, foreign policy, and political economy. Onuf is coauthor with Annette Gordon-Reed of “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (2016) and author of Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions and Empire (2018). He now lives with his wife Kristin in Portland and Winter Harbor, Maine.

Tom Piazza

Tom Piazza is celebrated both as a novelist and as a writer on American music. His twelve books include the novels A Free State and City Of Refuge, the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters, and Devil Sent The Rain, a collection of his essays and journalism. He was a principal writer for the innovative HBO drama series TREME, and the winner of a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey. In 2015 he received the prestigious Louisiana Writer Award, given by the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Center for the Book. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Bookforum, The Oxford American, Columbia Journalism Review, and many other periodicals. He lives in New Orleans.

Lawrence N. Powell

The emeritus holder of the James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization, Lawrence N. Powell taught history at Tulane University from 1978 until his retirement in June 2012. His most recent book is The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans (Harvard, 2012). Other publications include Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke’s Louisiana (UNC, 2000), which has just been reissued in a second edition from UNC Press. A former Guggenheim Fellow, in 2008 he was elected as a Fellow in the Society of American Historians in recognition of literary distinction in the writing of history. In 1999 he was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year. In 2014-15 he chaired the history jury for the Pulitzer Prize.

Samantha Power

Samantha Power is a Professor of Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School. From 2013-2017, Power served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a member of President Obama's cabinet. From 2009-2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Power began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School. Power's book, "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World. Her most recent book, The Education of an Idealist, was published by Harper Collins in September 2019. Power earned a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean is known around the world for her tireless work against the death penalty.  She has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on capital punishment and in shaping the Catholic Church’s vigorous opposition to all executions.

Born on April 21, 1939, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1957. After studies in the USA and Canada, she spent the following years teaching high school, and serving as the Religious Education Director at St. Frances Cabrini Parish in New Orleans and the Formation Director for her religious community.

In 1982, she moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans in order to live and work with the poor. While there, Sister Helen began corresponding with Patrick Sonnier, who had been sentenced to death for the murder of two teenagers. Two years later, when Patrick Sonnier was put to death in the electric chair, Sister Helen was there to witness his execution. In the following months, she became spiritual advisor to another death row inmate, Robert Lee Willie, who was to meet the same fate as Sonnier.

After witnessing these executions, Sister Helen realized that this lethal ritual would remain unchallenged unless its secrecy was stripped away, and so she sat down and wrote a book, Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. Dead Man Walking hit the shelves when national support for the death penalty was over 80% and, in Sister Helen’s native Louisiana, closer to 90%. The book ignited a national debate on capital punishment and it inspired an Academy Award winning movie, a play and an opera. Sister Helen also embarked on a speaking tour that continues to this day.

Sister Helen works with people of all faiths and those who follow no established faith, but her voice has had a special resonance with her fellow Catholics. Over the decades, Sister Helen has made personal approaches to two popes, John Paul II and Pope Francis, urging them to establish the Catholic Church’s position as unequivocally opposed to capital punishment under any circumstances. After Sister Helen’s urging, under John Paul II the catechism was revised to strengthen the church’s opposition to executions, although it allowed for a very few exceptions. Not long after meeting with Sister Helen in August of 2018, Pope Francis announced new language of the Catholic Catechism which declares that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, with no exceptions.

Today, although capital punishment is still on the books in 30 states in the USA, it has fallen into disuse in most of those states. Prosecutors and juries alike are turning away from death sentences, with the death penalty becoming increasingly a geographical freak. Sister Helen continues her work, dividing her time between educating the public, campaigning against the death penalty, counseling individual death row prisoners, and working with murder victims’ family members. Sister Helen’s second book, The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, was published in 2004; and her third book, River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey,in 2019.

Carol McMichael Reese

Carol McMichael Reese is Favrot Professor in the Tulane School of Architecture, where she has taught since 1999. In Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts, she directs the City, Culture, and Community interdisciplinary PhD program. Her books and articles focus on contemporary architecture and urban planning in the Americas. She has written on the relationship of visual imagery and the production of urban identities in early twentieth-century Buenos Aires and Mexico City, and she was a consulting curator for the exhibition “Buenos Aires 1910, Memories of the World to Come,” with venues in Buenos Aires, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Her book on the history of the urban development of the Panama Canal Zone between 1905 and 1920 appeared in 2013, and she is currently working on a sequel. New Orleans Under Reconstruction, The Crisis of Planning (Verso, New York), which she co-edited, appeared in 2014, publishing critical essays about and projects for the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans. In 2009, Reese was one of six finalists for the national Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty award, and the Louisiana Legislative Women's Caucus honored her with their statewide award for Volunteerism and Civic Engagement.

Peter Ricchiuti

Peter Ricchiuti (Ri-Chooty) teaches finance at Tulane University where he has received numerous teaching awards. He is the business professor you WISH you had back in college.

He has been featured widely in the financial media including; The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, CNBC and BARRON's.

Peter has addressed more than 1100 groups in 47 states and several countries. He is also the host of "Out To Lunch", a weekly business show on National Public Radio in New Orleans.

Susan Rice

Ambassador Susan E. Rice served as President Obama’s National Security Advisor and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009-2017. She recently published her memoir, Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For.

Rice also served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, and Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping at the National Security Council under President Clinton from 1993-2001. She began her career as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company and later served for several years as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Rice is currently a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at American University’s School of International Service and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

Rice serves on the boards of Netflix and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She previously served as a director at the Bureau of National Affairs (now Bloomberg BNA), the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and numerous other non-profits.

Rice received her master's degree and Ph.D. in international relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and her B.A. with honors in history from Stanford University. A native of Washington, DC, Ambassador Rice is married to Ian Cameron, and they have two children.

Nathaniel Rich

Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth: A Recent History is a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and the recipient of major awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Institute of Physics. Rich is the author of the novels King Zeno and Odds Against Tomorrow, a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the Atlantic, and a writer-at-large for the New York Times Magazine. He lives in New Orleans.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, published by One World Random House and named a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. Ruffin has been a recipient of the Iowa Review Award in fiction. His work has appeared in Unfathomable City: a New Orleans atlas, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun. A native of New Orleans, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop, a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University.

Matt Sakakeeny

Matt Sakakeeny is Associate Professor of Music at Tulane University. He is the author of Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans (Duke Press, 2013), and co-author of Keywords in Sound (Duke Press, 2015) and Remaking New Orleans: Beyond Exceptionalism and Authenticity (Duke Press, 2019). He is a board member of two nonprofit organizations, the Roots of Music afterschool program and the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund. Matt has received a grant from the Spencer Foundation for his next book on marching band education in the New Orleans school system. He is also the guitarist and bandleader of Los Po-Boy-Citos, and he released a solo album in 2018 as The Lonely Birds.

Kalamu Salaam

Kalamu ya Salaam is an American poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. A well-known activist and social critic, Salaam has spoken out on a number of racial and human rights issues. For years he did radio shows onWWOZ. Salaam is the co-founder of the NOMMO Literary Society, a weekly workshop for Black writers.

Florencia Schabelman

My name is Florencia Levinton Schabelman. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina but for the last 41 years I have been living in Metairie, LA with my husband and two sons. My oldest son has given me two of the greatest happiness of my life: my granddaughters Maia and Lia (6 and 4 years old) who are my inspiration for writing a children’s book.

I have a Master in Computer Science from the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1976 with thesis “Recognition of Myocardial Infarction by Digital Computer”), have a Certified Medical Manager’s degree (1991), and a diploma of Tour Guide of the City of New Orleans (1984).

I have written a previous book in Spanish, published in Argentina in 2001. You can see all the information about this book in my website:

My latest is a children’s book, self-published and in two languages: “My New Neighbors”/”Mis Nuevos Vecinos”. It’s really two books in one, on one side is the Spanish Version and when you flip it over you can read the English version.

On the surface, the book is about two Mallard ducks that arrive agitated in my neighborhood trying to communicate something that we don’t understand. All the neighbors start to help out in solving the mystery while we try to find out what they are trying to tell us. Each page ends with a question that allows kids to imagine different solutions to the difficulties the ducks and neighbors face. This also lets the story teller interact with the young audience. However, if you dig deeper into the real meaning of the story, the significance lies in the importance of communication not only in reference to language. It also reinforces the importance of collaboration and team work to get the “job” done.

I have read the children’s book in several venues and also been interviewed regarding this book. Please see below. Also find information on the children’s book at:

Megan Scott and John Becker

Megan Scott grew up in a North Carolina farming family, shucking corn and snapping green beans as far back as she can remember. She learned to cook from a long line of matriarchs, honing her cooking skills on cornbread and endless pots of collard greens. Megan has a degree in French language and literature but some of her fondest college memories include goat antics on the small dairy where she worked, and making a very smelly batch of kimchi in her dorm room. She and John met in 2010 and immediately bonded over a shared love of blue cheese and Cheddar biscuits. Together they worked on the 2019 edition, to which Megan brought a flair for baking, a love of fermented foods, and a talent for project management. Megan has been a cheesemaker's apprentice, a baker, and an assistant pastry chef, and in addition to her work for Joy she is the culinary director of a creative agency in Portland, Oregon.

John Becker, Irma’s great-grandson, spent his childhood between Portland, Oregon and Cincinnati, Ohio. His father Ethan taught him the merits of cooking off the cuff, and his mother Joan instilled in him open-mindedness and a love of bold flavors and spice. After earning a degree in literature, John assisted in the publication of over a dozen collections of literary essays. After 9 years of testing, editing, and research, John and his wife Megan authored the ninth edition of Joy in 2019. Expanded and thoroughly updated, the latest edition reflects John’s life-long love of cooking, enthusiasm for research, and determination to keep Joy relevant for a new generation of cooks. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can usually be found at the farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Alon Shaya

Alon Shaya really loves food.  He loves cooking it, being around it, learning about it, and teaching others about it.  Born in Israel and raised on cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, Alon now calls New Orleans his home. The three celebrated restaurants he started and  helmed as executive chef/partner - Domenica, Pizza Domenica, and Shaya - all reflect his culinary journey and resounding love of Israeli and Italian cuisine.

In 2017, Alon formed Pomegranate Hospitality to create a space where meaningful, lasting relationships are created, community engagement prospers, and cultural differences are celebrated.  Pomegranate Hospitality hopes to foster opportunities for colleagues, partners and friends in a comfortable environment, helping all involved to achieve their personal and professional goals.

In 2016, Alon joined forces with Donna Barnett, his high school home economics teacher, to start the Shaya Barnett Foundation, committed to providing culinary education and resources to high school students. Tapping into the philanthropic community in New Orleans and beyond, Alon cooks to raise money for No Kid Hungry, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and DC Central Kitchen/Martha's Table.  He is a recipient of the "Youth Advocate Award" from Liberty's Kitchen, and was honored by InspireNOLA Schools for his work with Edna Karr Charter High School.

In March 2018, Alon published his debut cookbook, "Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel" (Knopf). Part memoir and part cookbook, Alon shares his deeply personal journey of survival and discovery, exploring the evolution of a cuisine and the transformative power and magic of food and cooking. Readers learn the secret to making Shaya's acclaimed pita bread while hearing the food stories that have shaped his life.

Alon has been nominated for five James Beard Awards.  He has been named "Best Chef, South" while at Domenica in 2015, and Shaya won "Best New Restaurant" in 2016.  He was named one of the "50 People Who Are Changing the South" by Southern Living magazine in 2015, and one of the "50 Most Influential Jews in America" by The Forward.

Alon, his wife Emily, and their two dogs Henry and Ceci, live in New Orleans.  On their days off, they enjoying traveling for new food experiences, playing tennis, and fly fishing.

Katy Simpson Smith

Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and Sea, Free Men, and The Everlasting. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, Garden & Gun, Catapult, and Lenny. She lives in New Orleans, and currently serves as the Eudora Welty Chair for Southern Literature at Millsaps College.

Rebecca Snedeker

Rebecca Snedeker has called New Orleans an “unfathomable city” and has told parts of its story on film and in her writing. Now, she will continue to explore the many sides of New Orleans through her new role as the Clark Executive Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University.

Snedeker is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, capturing an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Historical Programming — Long Form” in 2011 for her documentary Witness: Katrina. She won critical acclaim for the 2013 book, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (University of California Press), which she co-authored with Rebecca Solnit. The New York Times called the book an “idiosyncratic, luminous tribute” to New Orleans.

“New Orleans is my teacher, case study, and source of wonder,” says Snedeker, a native New Orleanian. She said that the directorship of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, which is housed in the School of Liberal Arts, felt like a calling.

“I was attracted to the center for its potential to support accelerated learning experiences that draw on the complexity of this place and its relationships to the world, to help us understand where we are and engage our collective destiny.”

School of Liberal Arts Dean Carole Haber said Snedeker has the vision and energy to support and grow the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. “Rebecca has a storyteller’s sense of place and a documentarian’s skill in managing multiple narratives. Her talents will be an asset to the center.”

The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South supports research, teaching and community engagement that focus on New Orleans and the Gulf South and explore the region’s place in the world. The center sponsors conferences, programming and service-learning courses, and awards fellowships to Tulane faculty and to external scholars and artists. Since its establishment in 2010, the center has developed a wide variety of music-focused programs, with the creation of the Musical Cultures of the Gulf South coordinate major, the Music Rising at Tulane website and K-12 educator institute, and the Trombone Shorty Academy and the Fredman Music Business Institute.

Reflecting her passion for the region, Snedeker envisions a boundless future for the Gulf South Center. “I’m taking soundings, and charting a course.” While she will continue to expand the center’s music programs, she envisions increasing support for other realms and curating regular interdisciplinary programming, with an initial emphasis on environmental justice.
“My goal is for the center to be a dynamic port,” says Snedeker. “I love bringing people together with different expertise and backgrounds. Place-based learning requires the integration of a multiplicity of voices, approaches, and understandings, all responding to an infinitely complex, ever-evolving model. Training in how to go about this, and finding pleasure and mooring in it, is the essence of a liberal arts education. And something that we bring wherever we may go.”

Anne Snyder

Anne Snyder is the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape. From 2016-2019 she directed The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program that sought to help American foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions. She is currently also a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum. Previously, Anne has worked for Laity Lodge and the H.E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, as well as the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal and The New York Times. She has published widely, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, The Orange County Register, Houston Business Journal and elsewhere.

Mike Strecker

Michael Strecker is the author of The Young Comic’s Guide to Telling Jokes Books. 1 and 2(Sterling 2017) and Jokes for Crescent City Kids, (Pelican 2019). His fourth joke book for kids will be published by Scholastic in the fall of 2020. He also writes fiction for adults. His short story A Lake Catherine Lesson appeared in The Critic, a literary journal that has published some of the country’s most highly regarded writers, including Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor and Graham Greene. In addition to his writing, Strecker is a stand-up comedian, who regularly performs at some of the top comedy clubs in the country. He lives in the New Orleans area with his wife Jillian and their sons Stephen and Joseph.

Michael Tisserand

Michael Tisserand is a New Orleans-based author whose most recent book, KRAZY: GEORGE HERRIMAN, A LIFE AND BLACK AND WHITE was named a New York Times notable book for 2017. KRAZY also received the Eisner Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld awards for biography.

Tisserand’s previous books include THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO, which received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music writing, and the Hurricane Katrina memoir SUGARCANE ACADEMY. Tisserand is also an occasional chess coach and founding member of the Mardi Gras parading organization The Laissez Boys. More information about Tisserand and his work can be found at

Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas is the author of nine books: The Wise Men (with Walter Isaacson), The Man to See, The Very Best Men, Robert Kennedy, John Paul Jones, Sea of Thunder, The War Lovers, Ike’s Bluff, and Being Nixon. John Paul Jones and Sea of Thunder were New York Times bestsellers. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time andNewsweek, including ten years (1986–96) as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek’s fifty-thousand-word election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner of a National Magazine Award), and 2008. He has appeared on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and The Colbert Report, and has been a guest on PBS’s Charlie Rose more than forty times. The author of dozens of book reviews for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007 to 2014, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.

Poppy Tooker

Food personality, radio host, teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table. Poppy brings all of these elements together in her weekly NPR affiliated radio show,Louisiana Eats!

Poppy has been instrumental in reviving many endangered foods and food traditions through her work with Slow Food. She founded one of the first Slow Food chapter in the U.S. in 1998, and served for many years on the International Ark of Taste committee.

Poppy’s fifth book, The Pascal’s Manale Cookbook, published in fall 2018 was named Cookbook of the Year by New Orleans Magazine. It tells the story of the fifth generation Sicilian Creole Uptown restaurant, where Barbeque Shrimp were created.

Her first, The Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, published in 2007, received a Tabasco cookbook award and was named “Cookbook of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine. In 2012, Poppy revised one of New Orleans’ oldest cookbooks, Madame Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Cookery, updating the original recipes for the 21st century home cook. Published in 2013, Louisiana Eats! based on interviews from her radio show of the same name, won the Louisiana Library Association’s Literary Award of the Year. The Tujague’s Restaurant Cookbook – Creole Recipes and Lore in the Grand New Orleans Tradition published in the fall of 2015.

Sean Tuohy

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Sean Tuohy knew what it meant to be the poor kid in a private school… he had been one himself. With sports as his meal ticket through high school and college, Tuohy left home after graduating from The Isidore Newman School and headed for The University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss, on a basketball scholarship. When Tuohy graduated from Ole Miss, he shattered every major SEC assist record. Tuohy had become a legend in the SEC! He led Ole Miss to their first ever SEC championship and holds honors from Hall of Fames to retired jerseys.

Drafted by the NBA’s New Jersey Nets in 1982, Tuohy opted to continue his career overseas before returning to the US to be with his father during his final days. He became a successful entrepreneur building a company that now owns and operates fast food restaurants including Taco Bell, KFC and Freddy’s.

Tuohy has been married to his college cheerleader sweetheart, the former Leigh Anne Roberts, since 1982. They are the proud parents of daughter Collins and sons Michael Oher and Sean Junior.

Prior to Tuohy’s NBA Broadcasting career, he was an analyst for the radio broadcast at Ole Miss as well as a broadcaster for Westwood One and CBS radio. In addition to his demanding business, broadcasting, school and church schedules (he along with several others helped to create one of the fastest growing evangelical churches in Memphis, the Grace Evangelical Church) Tuohy is heavily involved in numerous organizations that support kids. Tuohy says, “It’s easy to beat up a kid. The hard thing is to build him up.”

That philosophy is what propelled the Tuohy family to bring Michael into their home, give him love and support, and eventually adopt him as their son.

The Tuohy’s life was chronicled in Michael Lewis’ New York Times bestseller, The Blind Side. The book then went on to become a record breaking Hollywood Blockbuster movie that has earned more than $400 million at the box office. The Blind Side has become the number one sports themed movie in history surpassing Rocky! The Tuohy family’s inspirational story has been covered over national media, including Katie, Fox and Friends, Good Morning America, 20/20, The Today Show, Dr. Drew, Sean Hannity, and Huckabee.

Years after The Blind Side has burst onto the scene, breaking box office records and inspiring individuals nationwide, Tuohy continues to make an impact. In July 2010, he and his wife Leigh Anne released the New York Times bestseller, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving. They also established their charity, The Making it Happen Foundation which promotes awareness, provides help, and seeks to improve the standard of living for all the children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks in society. Tuohy serves on numerous boards and never misses an opportunity to mentor and coach others up.

Through all of their projects Sean, and the entire Tuohy family, continue their mission to inspire hope, ignite generosity, and make it happen for the deserving but underserved youth in our society.

Sheba Turk

Sheba Turk co-anchors WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News and is the author of the book “Off Air: My Journey to the Anchor Desk.”

Sheba’s inspirational book lets readers in on how she worked her way from working behind the scenes in a newsroom to the anchor desk in just about two years, pushing past obstacles like financial issues and self-doubt.

Sheba is was born and raised in the 7th ward of New Orleans. Her love of writing led her into the world of journalism. Shortly after graduating from the University of New Orleans, Sheba was hired as an associate producer at WWL. She has been there ever since, working her way up to traffic reporter, then morning show reporter, then anchor and host of the entertainment show, “The 504,” which just recently ended so that Sheba could take on her expanded role as a main morning anchor at WWL.

Sheba is an alumnus of Soledad O’Brien’s PowHerful Foundation and mentors with the organization. She is passionate about helping other people, especially other young women, reach their full potential.

Mark VanLandingham

Mark VanLandingham, Ph.D., is the Thomas C. Keller Professor at Tulane University. He co-leads (with Katherine Andrinopoulos) Tulane’s International Health and Development (IHD) Program and directs Tulane’s Center for Studies of Displaced Populations (CSDP). He currently leads research teams focusing on rural-to-urban migration within Southeast Asia; assessing homeless populations in American cities; and acculturation, health, and well-being among Vietnamese immigrants living in New Orleans. His recent book, Weathering Katrina, focuses on this latter topic.

Kim Vaz-Deville

Kim Vaz-Deville is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana, a Professor of Women’s Studies and Counselor Education, a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. Dr. Vaz-Deville’s area of research is on the use of expressive arts as a response to large group social trauma with attention to women, gender and insurgency. She is the author of The Baby Dolls: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, Louisiana State University Press (2013). Her edited book Contemporary Scholars and Artists Respond to the Baby Dolls of New Orleans was published in 2018 by the University Press of Mississippi.

Cleo Wade

Cleo Wade is a friend, community builder, and the author of the bestselling books, Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life and Where to Begin: A small book your power to create big change. She has been called the poet of her generation by Time Magazine and one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company. Cleo sits on the board of The Lower East Side Girls Club, the National Black Theatre in Harlem, the Women’s Prison Association. When Cleo is not at home in California with her partner, Simon Kinberg, and their daughter, Memphis, she can be found traveling around the country on her sold-out book tours, which have become a safe space to laugh, cry, hug, and offer support to fellow readers.

Darren Walker

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, an international social justice philanthropy with a $13 billion endowment and $600 million in annual grant making. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and is co-founder and chair of the US Impact Investing Alliance.

Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs including the Rebuild New Orleans initiative after Hurricane Katrina. In the 1990s, as COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation—Harlem’s largest community development organization—he oversaw a comprehensive revitalization strategy, including building over 1,000 units of affordable housing and the first major commercial development in Harlem since the 1960s. Earlier, he had a decade-long career in international law and finance at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and UBS.

Darren co-chairs New York City’s Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and serves on the Commission on the Future of Rikers Island Correctional Institution and the UN International Labor Organization Commission on the Future of Work. He also serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Gallery of Art, Art Bridges, the High Line, VOW to End Child Marriage, the HOW Institute for Society, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, and the Committee to Protect Journalists. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient of 13 honorary degrees and university awards, including the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first class of Head Start in 1965 and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, which in 2009 recognized him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award—its highest alumni honor. He has been included on numerous annual media lists, including Time’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative People, and Out magazine’s Power 50.

Henry Walther

Henry Walther is an undergraduate student at Tulane University, originally from Lexington, Kentucky. He is currently writing the authorized biography of former New Orleans mayor, Moon Landrieu, under the mentorship of Walter Isaacson. Additionally, he serves as president of the College Democrats of Louisiana.

Jeanette Weiland

Jeanette (or "J.R." as some friends refer to her), is a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, colleague, Saints fan, and author of Beignets for Breakfast. She has lived in New Orleans almost half of her life, and finds herself infatuated with historic architecture, tropical gardens, and gregarious, neighborly citizens. She and her husband are the parents of two young children, and they relish the fact that their kids have the opportunity to grow up in a place unmatched in color and culture.

Kathleen Welch + Alan McGillvray

Bio for Kathleen Welch, Author of Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children

Author Kathleen Welch is an adjunct professor teaching courses in public health at Tulane University and the University of New England. Before earning her interdisciplinary PhD in global health, epidemiology and sociology from Tulane University, she earned an MA in education and a BA in Russian language and literature from Ohio State University. Her peer-reviewed articles on health issues have appeared in major medical journals across the country.
Welch has been an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. She is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Public Affairs Network Award for developing “The Psychiatrist is in City Park,” a campaign to destigmatize mental illness. A member of Delta Omega, the honor society in public health, and a named Fulbright Scholar, Welch uses her love of the arts to convey serious messages. Her husband, Alan McGillivray, helps her in these endeavors.

Bio for Alan McGillivray, Illustrator of Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children

Illustrator Alan McGillivray earned a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Master of Architecture from Tulane University. McGillivray has taught art and design at Tulane School of Architecture, the University of Maine at Farmington, and Mt. Blue Middle School. He is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association’s Public Affairs Network Award for art created for a New Orleans mental-health campaign. He has been assisting his wife, Kathleen Welch, integrating art and public health initiatives for over twenty years.

Liz WIlliams

Liz Williams grew up eating in two great food traditions – those of New Orleans and Sicily. She is Founder of National Food & Beverage Foundation. She coauthored The Encyclopedia of Law and Food. New Orleans: A Food Biography was selected as the 2018 One Book, One New Orleans book. Lift Your Spirits, was published in 2016. She is working on a book about Creole Italians for LSU Press.

A graduate of Louisiana State University Law Center (JD) she served as a U.S. Army Judge Advocate General. She practiced law in Washington, DC and Louisiana. She has served as judge in many cooking competitions and consulted internationally on the food of New Orleans. Travel is an excuse to eat in new places.

Jane Wolfe

Jane Wolfe, a graduate of Tulane and Harvard Divinity School, is an adjunct professor at Tulane and the University of Holy Cross. Her focus is on World Religions and responsible social entrepreneurship. She is also an accomplished veteran entrepreneur, as the former co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Wagners Meat Markets, ranked in the Inc. Inner City 100, and as co-founder and former marketing executive for Wolfman Construction, a Top 25 private contractor in New Orleans. Janes is also a founder of Melba’s Famous Po’Boys, a unique gem in the crossroads of the 7th, 8th and Upper 9th Wards of New Orleans.In 2018, Melba’s joined the Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies list and was given the title of Fastest Growing Business in Louisiana.

Scott Wolfe, Sr.

Scott is an accomplished entrepreneur, as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wagners Meat Markets, ranked in 2001 as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Inner City Companies in America (#31) by Inc. Magazine and listed in City Business as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in New Orleans (#77)

President and CEO of Chicken Box (Est. 2001). Chicken Box was a chain of restaurants in the New Orleans Area. In its first six months, it raced to become New Orleans’ #2 Fried Chicken Company.

Chairman of the Board of Wolfman Construction Company (Est. 1999) is a commercial contracting company that was listed by New Orleans’ City Business Magazine as one of the city’s “Top 25 Construction Companies”.
Scott is founder of Melba’s Famous Po’Boys, a unique gem in the crossroads of the 7th, 8th and Upper 9th Wards of New Orleans. In 2018, Melba’s joined the Inc. 500’s Fastest Growing Companies list and was given the title of Fastest Growing Business in Louisiana.

Together as the leader of Melba’s Famous Poboys, Wagner’s Meat, Chicken Box, Wolfman Construction Scott Wolfe, Sr. has employed over three hundred employees for more than thirty-five years.

Dr. Chris Yandle

A native of Houma, Louisiana, Dr. Chris Yandle is a former college athletics administrator and an award-winning public relations professional at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. After spending more than a decade with five different NCAA Division I college athletics programs, he transitioned to K-12 communications in his home state in 2017.

Considered among the leading communications professionals in college athletics, Chris served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at the University of Miami (2012-2014) and Georgia Tech (2014-2016).

Prior to moving to Miami, he spent four years at Baylor University (2008-2012) where he was one of the leaders behind the successful Heisman Trophy campaign of quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2011, and was one of the key contributors to Baylor’s increased presence across social media platforms.

Chris began his professional career in the office of his alma mater, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he served as assistant sports information director from 2007-2008.

He is a 2004 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (B.A., Public Relations) and a 2007 graduate of Marshall University (M.S., Athletic Administration). He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University in December 2019.

In addition to his time in athletics, Chris has spent time as an adjunct instructor at several schools, including Baylor University, West Virginia University, Kennesaw State University, Winthrop University, and is currently on the faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University. His book, Lucky Enough: A Year of a Dad’s Daily Notes of Encouragement and Life Lessons to His Daughter, is his first non-academic publication. He co-wrote the college textbook "Developing Successful Social Media Plans in Sport Organizations" in 2015.