Meet Our Authors

The three-day event will showcase nearly 100 national, regional and local authors, feature children and family resources, and include exciting literary programming. 

Thomas Adams

Thomas J. Adams is a historian of political economy, cities, social inequality, labor, and the Gulf South and a Visiting Professor at Tulane. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago and was a Mellon and ACLS Fellow before taking up a permanent position in History and American Studies at the University of Sydney where he directed academics at the United States Studies Centre. He has received fellowships and awards from the American Historical Association, the Huntington Library and the International Institute for Work and Life Cycle in Global History in Berlin; has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre and will be a Camargo Foundation Core Fellow in the Spring of 2022. He recently served as the co-chair of the panel of experts that advised the New Orleans City Council on street renaming.

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.

Kent Babb

Tarriona "Tank" Ball

The debut poetry collection from Grammy-nominated recording artist and slam poet Tarriona "Tank" Ball about infatuation, love, and heartbreak.

The real-life story of a relationship in the author's past told in verse and short prose pieces. Relatable and honest, with Tank's signature mix of whimsy and realness, Vulnerable AF is about the difference between love and infatuation, the danger and confusion of losing yourself in the idea of someone else, and coming out on the other side of heartbreak with your sense of self-worth--and your sense of humor--stronger for it.

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.

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.

Doug Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, a CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He has received seven honorary doctorates in American Studies. He works in many capacities in the world of public history, including for boards, museums, colleges and historical societies. Six of his books were named New York Times “Notable Books of the Year” and seven became New York Times bestsellers.

His The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, 2007, received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Book Award. He was personally selected by Nancy Reagan to edit President Ronald Reagan’s presidential diaries (2011). His 2012 book Cronkite won Fordham University’s Ann M. Sperber Prize for outstanding biographies. His two-volume annotated The Nixon Tapes, 2016, won the Arthur S. Link – Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He received a Grammy Award in 2017 as co-producer of Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom (Best Jazz Ensemble). The New-York Historical Society selected Brinkley in 2017 as their official U.S. Presidential Historian. He is on the Board of Trustees at Brevard College and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. He is a member of the Century Association, Council of Foreign Relations and James Madison Council of the Library of Congress.

He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children.

David Brooks

David Brooks is a columnist for The New York Times and a contributor to The Atlantic, as well as Founder and Chair of Weave: The Social Fabric Project at the Aspen Institute. He is a commentator on “The PBS Newshour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

His most recent book, “The Second Mountain,” shows what can happen when we put commitment-making and relationships at the center of our lives. He is also the author of “The Road to Character,” “Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” and “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.”

Mr. Brooks is on the faculty of Yale University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Follow him on Twitter @nytdavidbrooks and his Weave project @Weavetheppl

Barri Bronston

Barri Bronston is a native New Orleanian who spent over 30 years as a staff writer at The Times-Picayune before making the switch to public relations in 2012. Currently, she is assistant director of public relations at Tulane University, where she writes for the daily online news magazine Tulane Today as well as the Tulanian magazine. She wrote her first book, “The Lobster Kids’ Guide to Exploring New Orleans” in 2002.

Bronston has won awards from the Associated Press, the Louisiana Press Association and the New Orleans Press Club, and in 2006, she shared in the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She lives in suburban New Orleans and has a grown daughter, Sally, who lives in Washington D.C.

William 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.

Anna Butrico

Anna Butrico graduated Vanderbilt University with a degree in English after spending time at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. She joined McChrystal Group in 2019, where she has advised Fortune 100 companies and partnered with General McChrystal as his speechwriter. Risk: A User’s Guide is her first book.

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.

James Carville

Judy Cooper

Judy Cooper is a longtime New Orleanian and second line photographer. A former staff photographer for the New Orleans Museum of Art, she has spent more than twenty years documenting second line parades. More than a decade ago she made it her mission to honor the city’s social aid and pleasure clubs with a book combining history, photography, and commentary from scholars of New Orleans music, dance, and culture. Dancing in the Streets is the result.

Karen Cox

Karen L. Cox is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the founding director of the graduate public history program. She offers a variety of courses in southern history and culture and offers graduate electives in public history.

Dr. Cox received her BA and MA in history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is the author of three books, the editor or co-editor of two volumes of southern history, and she has written numerous essays and articles on the subject of southern history and culture. Her first book, Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture, won the 2004 Julia Cherry Spruill Prize from the Southern Association for Women Historians for the Best Book in Southern Women’s History. Her second book, published by UNC Press in 2011, is Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture. She is the editor of Destination Dixie: Tourism and Southern History (University Press of Florida, 2012), which won the 2013 Allen G. Noble Award for the best edited collection in North American material culture from the Pioneer America Society and the co-editor of Reassessing the 1930s South (LSU Press, 2018). Her latest book, entitled Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, was published by UNC Press in October 2017.

Dr. Cox has written op-eds for the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, TIME magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post. Her expertise on the American South has led to interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Mic, The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, Slate (France), the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Houston Chronicle, and the Charlotte Observer, as well as international newspapers in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Japan. She has also appeared on CNN with Brooke Baldwin, BBC Newshour, Black Politics Today, The Mike Smerconish Show (Sirius XM), C-SPAN, Canadian Public Broadcasting, Minnesota Public Radio, Georgia Public Radio, and Charlotte Talks.
She frequently gives public talks to both community and academic audiences, and is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.

Cox is originally from Huntington, West Virginia.

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.

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.

Justin Devillier

Chef Justin Devillier is the Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery and Justine in New Orleans and the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South. 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 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 ownership of the restaurant, housed in a century-old building with a storied history. 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.In 2014, he was awarded “Chef of the Year” by New OrleansMagazine.In early 2019, the Devilliers openedJustine in the New Orleans’ French Quarter. The bustling, food-hall style gathering place is the realization of Devillier’s long-time dream to open a restaurant in the South’s most lively district. Balancing sophistication and exuberance, his menu features the classic, crave-able dishes found in the brasseries lining the streets of Paris with bold presentation. In October 2019, Devillier published his first cookbook, The New Orleans Kitchen, which has received national acclaim. An IACP Award Finalist and named one of the best cookbooks of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Devillier provides a modern-day instructional approach to classic New Orleans cooking. 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.

Jennifer Doudna

Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and CellBiology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her groundbreaking development of CRISPR-Cas9 as a genome-engineering technology, with collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, earned the two the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and forever changed the course of human and agricultural genomics research.

This powerful technology enables scientists to change DNA — the code of life — with a precision only dreamed of just a few years ago. Labs worldwide have re-directed the course of their research programs to incorporate this new tool, creating a CRISPR revolution with huge implications across biology and medicine.

In addition to her scientific achievements, Doudna is a leader in public discussion of the ethical implications of genome editing for human biology and societies, and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the safe use of CRISPR technology.

Doudna is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes, and the President of the Innovative Genomics Institute. She co-founded and serves on the advisory panel of several companies that use CRISPR technology in unique ways.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Doudna is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and has received numerous other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences (2015), the Japan Prize (2016), Kavli Prize (2018), the LUI Che Woo Welfare Betterment Prize (2019), and the Wolf Prize in Medicine (2020). Doudna’s work led TIME to recognize her as one of the “100 Most Influential People” in 2015 and a runner-up for “Person of the Year” in 2016. She is the co-author of “A Crack in Creation,” a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.

Jeff Duncan

Jeff Duncan is Senior Writer at The Athletic. He previously worked at The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, where he was a member of the team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for the paper’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He has been honored four times as the Columnist of the Year and four times for the Story of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. He is the author of three books on the New Orleans Saints: Payton & Brees: The Men Who Built the Greatest Offense in NFL History; Tales from the Saints Sideline and From Bags to Riches. He is one of forty-eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

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 Grammy.com 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.

Louis Edwards

Louis Edwards is the author of four novels, including his latest, Ramadan Ramsey (August 2021, Amistad/Harper Collins). He has won both the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Whiting Writers Award.

Born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Edwards attended Hunter College and LSU (B.A. in Journalism). He has had a decades-long career as a producer of many special events, most notably the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He is the Chief Creative Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans.

Freddi Williams Evans

Freddi Williams Evans is internationally recognized for her scholarship on Congo Square in New Orleans, a world-renown landmark of African and African American culture. Her book, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, the first comprehensive study of the historic location, received the Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year Award in 2012. The book’s release and her advocacy influenced the 2011 New Orleans City Council Ordinance that changed the official name of the location from Beauregard Square, named after Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in 1893, to the popular name of Congo Square. Her most recent publication, Come Sunday, A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square, received the Independent Publisher Book Awards’ Bronze Medal in 2018 and was a finalist for the 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award. She is also the award-winning 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.

Pam Fessler

Pam Fessler is a former correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty, philanthropy, and voting issues.In her reporting at NPR, Fessler does stories on homelessness, hunger, affordable housing, and income inequality. She reports on what non-profit groups, the government, and others are doing to reduce poverty and how those efforts are working. Her poverty reporting was recognized with a 2011 First Place National Headliner Award. Fessler also covers elections and voting, including efforts to make voting more accessible, accurate, and secure. She has done countless stories on everything from the debate over state voter identification laws to Russian hacking attempts and long lines at the polls.After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Fessler became NPR's first Homeland Security correspondent. For seven years, she reported on efforts to tighten security at ports, airports, and borders, and the debate over the impact on privacy and civil rights. She also reported on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, The 9/11 Commission Report, Social Security, and the Census. Fessler was one of NPR's White House reporters during the Clinton and Bush administrations.Before becoming a correspondent, Fessler was the acting senior editor on the Washington Desk and NPR's chief election editor. She coordinated all network coverage of the presidential, congressional, and state elections in 1996 and 1998. In her more than 25 years at NPR, Fessler has also been deputy Washington Desk editor and Midwest National Desk editor.Earlier in her career, she was a senior writer at Congressional Quarterly magazine. Fessler worked there for 13 years as both a reporter and editor, covering tax, budget, and other news. She also worked as a budget specialist at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and was a reporter at The Record newspaper in Hackensack, New Jersey. Fessler has a master's of public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from Douglass College in New Jersey

Charles Figley

Macon Fry

Macon Fry is an author and educator, born in Virginia. After graduating from University of Virginia Fry arrived in New Orleans in 1981 to write about the unique culture and folkways of South Louisiana. His first book, Cajun Country Guide, explores the vibrant artifacts of the region: prairie dancehalls, small town recording studios, meat markets, crawfish “boiling points” and shrimp docks.

For the past thirty years Fry has lived on the watery fringe of New Orleans, occupying a self-built stilt house over the Mississippi River, hidden by the huge levees that keep the city dry. In his new book, They Called Us River Rats, he traces the movement of people down the river and their accumulation in settlements along the shore in New Orleans. The book explores the miraculous survival of the vestigial outsider colony where the author lives today- a fascinating intersection of people and place. It is both a personal story of life on the river, and a history rich with accounts Fry collected from of a century of river rats.

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.

James Gill

James Gill immigrated in 1977 from England, whcre, after graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1963, he worked on newspapers and wrote two books on thoroughbred racing and breeding. He joined the Times-Picayune in 1979 and still contributes a regular column. He is the author of a book on New Orleans carnival, Lords of Misrule (1977), and co-author of Tearing Down the Lost Cause (2021).

Blake Gilpin

R. BLAKESLEE GILPIN is an Associate Professor of History at Tulane University. His first book, John Brown Still Lives!: America’s Long Reckoning with Violence, Equality, and Change, was a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Center’s Frederick Douglass Book Prize. With Rose Styron, Gilpin compiled and edited The Selected Letters of William Styron. His next book will be about Nat Turner, William Styron, and the longevity of slavery’s hold on America’s racial imagination.

Gary Ginsberg

Gary Ginsberg grew up in Buffalo New York, home to two US presidents. A lawyer by training, he has spent his professional career at the intersection of media, politics, and law. He worked for the Clinton administration, was a senior editor and counsel at the political magazine George, and then spent the next two decades in executive positions in media and technology at News Corporation, Time Warner and SoftBank. He has published pieces in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and was an on-air political contributor in the early days of MSNBC. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons. This is his first book.

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.

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Talking to Strangers, David and Goliath, Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point. He is the co-founder and president of Pushkin Industries, an audiobook and podcast production company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History; Broken Record, a music interview show; and Solvable, in which Gladwell interviews innovative thinkers with solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department 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, was released on June 30, 2020. Imani Perry describes the book as “precisely the witness we need for our treacherous times. He is a columnist for Time Magazine and an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe, and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He also regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays.

He hails from Moss Point, Mississippi, a small town on the Gulf Coast, and is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Roberta 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 centerforthelivingcity.org 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.

Kelly Harris

Kelly Harris-DeBerry earned her B.A. from Kent State University and her M.F.A in Creative Writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She has been awarded fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and Cave Canem. Most recently her publishing credits include: 400yrs: The story of Black people in poems written from love 1619–2019; I Am New Orleans Anthology; Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop; Angles in the Wilderness: Young and Black in New Orleans and Beyond; and several articles in 64 Parishes Magazine.

She has also produced several visuals including Black Love: A Sustaining Force Post-Katrina which was presented at the 80th Anniversary of Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Kelly is the New Orleans Literary Coordinator for Poets & Writers, Inc based in New York. Her debut poetry collection is: Freedom Knows My Name.

kellyhd.com

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 a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Russel Honore

Lieutenant General Honoré is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Loyola University, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University & an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Meharry Medical College.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – General Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. General Honoré also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department’s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.

Among his assignments are Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, “Scorpion 07,” National Training Center (25 rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.

General Honoré’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.

General Honoré retired on February 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.

Howard Hunter

Howard Hunter is a native of New Orleans and a history teacher 38 years. He has published articles on New Orleans and the Civil War for both academic and general audiences. He is past president of the Louisiana Historical Society. Tearing Down the Lost Cause is his first book.

Arlie Hochschild

Arlie Hochschild is a sociologist and the author of nine books, including most recently, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a New York Times best seller and finalist for The National Book Award. A four-part documentary is currently being made of it. Other books include The Managed Heart, The Time Bind and The Second Shift. Her work appears in 17 languages.

Andy Horowitz

Andy Horowitz is Assistant Professor of History and the Paul and Debra Gibbons Professor in the School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University. His first book, Katrina: A History, 1915–2015 (Harvard University Press, 2020), won a Bancroft Prize in American History, and was named the Humanities Book of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and a Best Nonfiction Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. He is the co-editor of Critical Disaster Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), and has published essays in The Atlantic, Time, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is the Leonard A. Lauder Professor of American History and Values in Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts 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, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race (2021), is a gripping account of how Nobel prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species. He is also the author of Leonardo da Vinci (2017), 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 the Isidore Newman School, 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.

Suleika Jaouad

Suleika Jaouad is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling memoir, Between Two Kingdoms. She wrote the Emmy Award-winning New York Times column “Life, Interrupted,” and her reporting and essays have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Vogue, and NPR, among others. A highly sought-after speaker, her mainstage TED Talk was one of the ten most popular of 2019 and has nearly four million views. She is also the creator of The Isolation Journals, a community creativity project founded during the Covid-19 pandemic to help others convert isolation into artistic solitude; over 100,000 people from around the world have joined.

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.

Jesse M. Keenan

Jesse M. Keenan is an Associate Professor and social scientist within the faculty of the School of Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a globally recognized thought leader, Keenan’s research focuses on the intersection of climate change adaptation and the built environment, including aspects of design, engineering, regulation, planning and financing. Keenan has previously advised on matters concerning the built environment for agencies of the U.S. government, governors, mayors, Fortune 500 companies, technology ventures, community enterprises and international NGOs. Keenan formerly served as the Area Head for Real Estate and Built Environment on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Design; Fellow of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and, as the Research Director of the Center for Urban Real Estate on the faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Keenan is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania and serves the current administration as a Senior Economist with the U.S. Department of Defense where he works on the resilience of the nation’s infrastructure.

Keenan is the author of NYC 2040: Housing the Next One Million New Yorkers (Columbia University Press, 2014) and Climate Adaptation Finance and Investment in California (Routledge, 2018), which was awarded Amazon's 'Best Of' Award for "The Best Business and Leadership Books of 2018." Keenan is the co-editor of the books, Blue Dunes: Climate Change by Design (2nd Edition)(Columbia University Press, 2020); North American Climate Adaptation: Fostering Resilience and a Regional Capacity to Adapt (Springer, 2017); and, COVID-19, Systematic Risk and Resilience (Springer, 2021). Keenan is the also the co-author of a variety of design monographs, including, Mobility Oriented Design: The Case for Miami’s Metrorail (Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2019); Adapting Miami (Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2020), and Multiple Miamis (Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2020). Keenan holds degrees in the law (J.D., LL.M.) and science (M.Sc.) of real estate and the built environment, including a Ph.D. from the Delft University of Technology.

Molly Kimball

Molly is a registered dietitian with a passion to make it easy for people to live their strongest, healthiest lives.

Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Molly manages the nutrition program at Ochsner Fitness Center, including a team of lifestyle dietitians who guide clients in achieving personal fitness goals as well as disordered eating and general health and wellness.

In 2013 she founded Eat Fit, a nonprofit initiative of Ochsner Health that works with local restaurants, markets, schools and corner stores to develop & identify nutritious items on the menu. The Eat Fit team of dietitians works with more than 500 restaurant partners in six regions across Louisiana with the mission of providing easy-to-access real-world education, inspiration and resources on wellness and nutrition.
As a regular contributor to national publications, Molly is a nutrition journalist who 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 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.

Molly is the recent recipient of the Louisiana Champion award by LWCC, and - perhaps her favorite accolade - she received the Risk Taker award by Ochsner Health leadership. Molly prefers a good walk-and-talk with colleagues versus desk or Zoom meetings, and when she’s not immersed in the world of nutrition science, you can find her creating functional pottery, a perfect antidote to technology and deadlines.

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.

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.

Robert Livingston

Dr. Robert Livingston is a social psychologist and one of the nation’s leading experts on the science underlying bias and racism in organizations. For two decades, he has served as a diversity consultant to myriad Fortune 500 companies, public-sector agencies, and non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015, he held professorships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and the University of Sussex, where he was the chair of the organizational behavior area as well as the founder and faculty director of Centre for Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity (LEAD).

His research on race, implicit bias, leadership, and social justice has been published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Psychological Science, and Leadership Quarterly. Dr. Livingston’s work has also been featured in popular press outlets such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Harvard Business Review. His article “How to Promote Racial Equity in the Workplace” was the winner of the 2020 Warren Bennis Prize, awarded to the best article on leadership published in Harvard Business Review each year.
His groundbreaking and influential approach to combatting racism is detailed in his newly- released book The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth about Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, which has received high praise from book critics, corporate executives, and ordinary citizens.

In his spare time, he enjoys jazz, wine and whiskey tasting, gastronomy, philosophy, interior design, real estate investing, hiking, and nature documentaries. He has resided in five countries and speaks four languages. He is a proud alumnus of Tulane University.

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 has served 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 Nelson Maurer

Who loves nonfiction? Tracy Nelson Maurer, that’s who! She has written more than 130 nonfiction and fiction books for children and young adults, including her newest picture-book biographies Lady Bird Johnson, That’s Who!, Samuel Morse, That’s Who!, and John Deere, That's Who!. The John Deere and Samuel Morse biographies, both Junior Library Guild selections, were each named as a “Best STEM Book” by the National Science Teaching Association. Another picture-book biography, Noah Webster’s Fighting Words, was named to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List and the New York Public Library’s Best Picture Book List and received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Her nonfiction books for schools and libraries have received favorable reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, ALA and VOYA; some served as examples in Models for Teaching Writing-Craft Target Skills by writing expert Marcia S. Freeman. Tracy continues to study and speak about nonfiction books and their inquiry-sparking curriculum connections. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, and lives with her family in Minnesota. Learn more about Tracy’s writing and school and library visits at TracyMaurerWriter.com.

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.

Denise McConduit

Denise lives in New Orleans, Louisiana the birthplace of jazz and other unique customs like 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 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 her Tips for Reluctant Readers presentation. Her personal mission is to write fun and meaningful stories for children. In 2018 she worked on an oral history project for the Louisiana Children’s Museum, interviewing grandparents’ for legacy messages to showcase in an exhibit throughout the museum.

Denise holds an English degree from the University of New Orleans, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University. She is available for conferences, library and school author visits: www.denisemcconduit.com

Cappy McGarr

Cappy is president of MCM Interests. He has been involved in investing for the last 40 years.

McGarr is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He serves on the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He is only one of a few people that have been appointed to The Kennedy Center by two different Presidents. He also serves on MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, the Foundation for the National Archives Trustee's Council, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, and Ken Burns’ Better Angels Society.

He is a founder of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize, the nation’s highest honor for humor, now in its 22nd year. He also is a creator of The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. He has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy and a NAACP Image Award.

McGarr is a past chair of the Development Board of the University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder of the Texas Program in Sports and Media and the annual McGarr Symposium on Sports and Society at the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.

He has published op-eds in The New York Times (October 6, 2009, “A Texas-Size Health Care Failure”), Politico (October 23, 2011, “Why Washington Needs A Laugh”) and USA Today (May 28, 2020,“Coronavirus is no joke, but it's why comedy must go on”).

His (quasi) memoir coming out on September 28, 2021: The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous, stories from the Kennedy Center, the White House and other comedy venues.

McGarr has been married to Janie Strauss McGarr for 43 years and has two daughters, Elizabeth McGarr McCue and Kathryn McGarr, and a granddaughter, Annette Cap McCue, and a grandson, Hudson McCue.

Admiral Bill McRaven

Admiral William H. McRaven, is a retired U.S. Navy Four-Star admiral and the former Chancellor of the University of Texas System. During his time in the military, he commanded special operations forces at every level, eventually taking charge of the U.S. Special Operations Command. His career included combat during Desert Storm and both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

As the Chancellor of the UT System he led one of the nation’s largest and most respected systems of higher education. As the chief executive officer of the UT System, McRaven oversaw 14 institutions that educated 220,000 students and employed 20,000 faculty and more than 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, and staff.

McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues. He currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the National Football Foundation, the International Crisis Group, The Mission Continues, and ConocoPhillips.

McRaven graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1977 with a degree in Journalism, and received his master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in 1991.

McRaven is the author of four books, SPEC OPS: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare, and three New York Times Best Sellers, Make Your Bed, Sea Stories, and The Hero Code.

He met his wife, Georgeann, while they were students at UT Austin, and they have three grown children. McRaven stays active with his writing, speaking and board commitments.

Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer. A contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review and a contributing editor of Time magazine, he is the author of the New York Times bestsellers His Truth is Marching On, The Hope of Glory, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston. Meacham, who holds the Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University, lives in Nashville.

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.

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

Lawrence 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.

Carol Reese

Carol McMichael Reese is the Favot IV Professor in the Tulane University School of Architecture, where she offers courses on architectural and urban history and theory. In Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts, she co-directs the Urban Studies Minor program and teaches urban studies courses. Her books and articles focus on modern 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. Her book on the history of the urban development of the Panama Canal Zone between 1905 and 1920, written with Thomas Ford Reese, appeared in 2013, and they are at work on a sequel. New Orleans Under Reconstruction, The Crisis of Planning (Verso, 2014), which she co-edited with Michael Sorkin and Anthony Fontenot, published critical essays about and projects for the rebuilding of post-Katrina New Orleans. Her additional contributions to the architectural and urban history of New Orleans and Louisiana include Longue Vue House and Gardens (Rizzoli, 2015) and A. Hays Town and the Architectural Image of Louisiana (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, forthcoming Fall 2021). In 2009, she 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.

Nathaniel Rich

Nathaniel Rich is a writer-at-large for The New York Times Magazine and the author of two works of nonfiction: Second Nature: Scenes From A World Remade (2021) and Losing Earth: A Recent History (2019), a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award, and winner of awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Institute of Physics. He is also the author of the novels Odds Against Tomorrow, The Mayor’s Tongue, and King Zeno, set in New Orleans in 1918. Rich lives a few blocks from Tulane.

Sandy Rosenthal

After the near-destruction of New Orleans in 2005 while most were satisfied with the official narrative of "natural disaster", Sandy Rosenthal believed there was more to the story. It turned out there was.

Rosenthal led an investigative team via the New Orleans-based group she founded––Levees.org––and discovered the real cause of the devastation: Faulty engineering which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,500 and over $100 billion in property damage and business losses, not "Mother Nature."

In a classic tale of "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", the Levees.org team succeeded not only in exposing the details of the failure, but also uncovering a multi-million dollar smear campaign––against the people of New Orleans, Levees.org and Sandy herself––funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars.

By 2015, the news media, which had upheld the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' version of events, finally capitulated, and major news outlets like the New York Times and the BBC, officially changed their version of events to reflect the reality.

Rosenthal's 4-time award-winning book "Words Whispered in Water" which documents this story is her first book.

Levees.org exists to make sure the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is held accountable in New Orleans and throughout the U.S. where the lives and property of 201 million Americans depend on the integrity of their levees.

Rosenthal is currently host of the Beat the Big Guys podcast where she coaches listeners on how to fix problems in their own communities.

Mother of three and grandmother of two, the Massachusetts-born Rosenthal has lived in New Orleans with her New Orleans native husband Steve since 1980.

Joshua D. Rothman

Joshua D. Rothman is professor of history and chair of the department of History at the University of Alabama. He is the author of three books on the history of American slavery, and has published essays and articles in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and other popular venues.

David Rubenstein

David M. Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private investment firms. Mr. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing $260 billion from 29 offices around the world.

Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Club of Washington; a Fellow of the Harvard Corporation; a Trustee of the National Gallery of Art, the University of Chicago, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Constitution Center, the Brookings Institution, and the World Economic Forum; and a Director of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Rubenstein is a member of the American Philosophical Society, Business Council, Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman), Madison Council of the Library of Congress (Chairman), Board of Dean’s Advisors of the Business School at Harvard, Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (former Chairman), and Board of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community.

Mr. Rubenstein has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution, and Co-Chairman of the Board of the Brookings Institution.

Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge, a significant donor to all of the above-mentioned non-profit organizations, and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards.

Mr. Rubenstein has been a leader in the area of Patriotic Philanthropy, having made transformative gifts for the restoration or repair of the Washington Monument, Monticello, Montpelier, Mount Vernon, Arlington House, Iwo Jima Memorial, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the National Zoo, the Library of Congress, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Rubenstein has also provided to the U.S. government long-term loans of his rare copies of the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, the first map of the U.S. (Abel Buell map), and the first book printed in the U.S. (Bay Psalm Book).

Mr. Rubenstein is the host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS; and the author of The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, a book published by Simon & Schuster in October 2019, and How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers, a book published by Simon & Schuster in September 2020.

Mr. Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Following Duke, Mr. Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

From 1973-1975, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in New York with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. From 1975-1976, he served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. From 1977-1981, during the Carter Administration, Mr. Rubenstein was Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. After his White House service and before co-founding Carlyle, Mr. Rubenstein practiced law in Washington with Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman).

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You, which will be published by One World Random House in August 2021. His first book, We Cast a Shadow, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award, the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Kenyon Review, and Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020-2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.

Kalamu Salaam

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.

Tom Sancton

New Orleanian Tom Sancton took his B.A. at Harvard and his D. Phil at Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He spent more than two decades as a writer, editor, and foreign correspondent for TIME magazine, including nine years as Paris Bureau Chief. He has taught at the American University of Paris and Tulane University, which named him the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities in 2007-2008. His previous books deal with varied subjects including Franco-American relations, the death of Princess Diana, New Orleans jazz, and a French scandal involving L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. He currently holds the title of Research Professor at Tulane and divides his time between Paris and New Orleans. The French government has decorated him as a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters.

Bakari Sellers

Bakari Sellers is a CNN political analyst and was the youngest-ever member of the South Carolina state legislature. Recently named to TIME’s “40 Under 40” List, he is also a practicing attorney fighting to give a voice for the voiceless.

Fatima Shaik

Fatima Shaik was born in the historic Seventh Ward of New Orleans and bred on the oral histories told her by her Creole family and neighbors. A former assistant professor at Saint Peter’s University (NJ), she worked for more than a decade as a reporter and editor for daily news outlets. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Root, and In These Times. Shaik is a trustee of PEN America and former board member of The Writers Room in New York City. She is the author of six books of fiction. Economy Hall is her first nonfiction work.

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.

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.

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 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.

Later in 2018, Saba opened it’s doors in May 2018 in Uptown, New Orleans & Safta opened it’s doors in August 2018 in the River North neighborhood of Denver. Both restaurants reflect Chef Alon Shaya's heritage, a journey through food and beverage which pays homage to the culinary landscape of Israel. With influences that stem from the Middle East, Europe and North Africa, Saba and Safta reflect a collection of moments where food and culture have crossed paths, offering a taste of this ever-evolving cuisine. Wood fired pita bread baked steps from the table soaks up the flavors of Bulgaria, Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Palestine and Greece to name a few.

In mid 2021, Pomegranate Hospitality and the Four Season Hotel & Private Residences New Orleans will open the hotel’s signature restaurant and lobby bar. The restaurant, Miss River, will represent Alon & Emily’s love letter to Louisiana.

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.

Anne Snyder

Anne Snyder is the Editor-in-Chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons created in 2020 to try to inspire a dynamic cross-section of thinkers and practitioners to respond to the major crises of this past year with wisdom, hope and courage. She is the host of The Whole Person Revolution podcast and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape, published in 2019.

From 2016 to 2019 she directed The Philanthropy Roundtable‘s Character Initiative, a program seeking to help American foundations and business leaders strengthen “the middle ring” of morally formative institutions. She maintains a post as a Fellow with the Urban Reform Institute, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity for the bulk of their citizens, and is a Senior Fellow with The Trinity Forum. From 2014 to 2017 Anne worked with Laity Lodge and the H.E. Butt Family Foundation in Texas, and before that she worked at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, World Affairs Journal and The New York Times. She holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and international relations from Wheaton College (IL). Anne serves as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice, Nyack College, the Hyde Park Institute and the Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center. She has published widely, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, City Journal, Philanthropy Magazine, The Orange County Register, Houston Business Journal, Bittersweet Monthly and of course Comment.

David Spielman

David G. Spielman presents “New Orleans Portrayed”

David Spielman is approaching his 50th anniversary of his photographic career, which began when he moved to New Orleans. His portfolio features works from six continents. “New Orleans Portrayed” is his fifth book, and follows his acclaimed “Southern Writers,” “Katrinaville Chronicles,” “When Not Performing,” and “Katrina Decade.”

Recently Spielman was recognized as Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre des Artes et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his photographic work both in New Orleans and France.

Michael Strecker

Michael Strecker is the author of The Young Comic’s Guide to Telling Jokes Books. 1 and 2 (Sterling) and Jokes for Crescent City Kids, (Pelican). His fourth joke book for kids is scheduled to published by Scholastic. 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. His short story The Woman at the Well, was selected as a finalist by the 2021 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. In addition to his writing, Strecker is a stand-up comedian, who has performed 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 2017 book, KRAZY: GEORGE HERRIMAN, A LIFE AND BLACK AND WHITE explored the art and life of cartoonist George Herriman, New Orleans-born creator of the comic strip “Krazy Kat.” THE NEW YORK TIMES included KRAZY in its one hundred notable books for 2017. KRAZY also received the Eisner Award for best comics-related book, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld awards for biography.

In 2021, Tisserand launched his quarantine project MY FATHER WHEN YOUNG — a self-published collection of 1950s-era Kodachome slides he discovered during the shutdown in his late father’s things. Subjects include street scenes in European cities, parties in Indiana and Kentucky, and 1959 Mardi Gras. “Jerry Tisserand’s photos from the late ‘50s hit us with a startling power, like a Kodachrome time capsule dropping on our front step,” said Ben Yagoda, author of THE NEW YORKER AND THE WORLD IT MADE. Said Roy Blount Jr.: “Imagine finding all this from your dad. Or even someone else’s.”

In the years preceding Hurricane Katrina, Tisserand served as editor of GAMBIT, New Orleans’ alternative weekly, and much of Tisserand’s published work focuses on Louisiana history and culture. He explored Louisiana music in his first book, THE KINGDOM OF ZYDECO, which received the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award for music writing. “This is an important book for anyone with an interest in life, American music, southern culture, dancing, accordions, the recording industry, folklore, old dance clubs in the weeds, fortune tellers, hoodoos, or shotguns,” said Annie Proulx. In 2006, Tisserand told his own Katrina story in his second book, SUGARCANE ACADEMY.

When not writing, Tisserand is an occasional chess coach and promoter, as well as founding member of the Mardi Gras parading organization The Laissez Boys. More information about Tisserand and his work can be found at www.MIchaelTisserand.com

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 J. VanLandingham, Ph.D., is the Thomas C. Keller Professor at Tulane University. He currently teaches Population Mobility and Health and Health Problems of Developing Societies (with Katherine Andrinopoulos). Professor VanLandingham directs Tulane’s Center for Studies of Displaced Populations (CSDP) and leads research teams focusing on rural-to-urban migration within Southeast Asia; long-term post-disaster recovery; and acculturation, health, and well-being among Vietnamese immigrants living in New Orleans. His recent book, Weathering Katrina, focuses on these two latter topics.

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.

Darren Walker

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion international social justice philanthropy. He is a member of the Reimagining New York Commission and co-chair of NYC Census 2020. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first non-profit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond in US capital markets for proceeds to strengthen and stabilize non-profit organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

Darren co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and has served on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. He co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. In the summer of 2020, he was appointed to the boards of Square and Ralph Lauren. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on numerous leadership lists: Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Ebony's Power 100, and Out magazine’s Power 50. Most recently, Darren was named Wall Street Journal’s 2020 Philanthropy Innovator.

Jeanette Weiland

Jeanette Weiland is the Vice President of Bio, Innovation, & Special Projects at the New Orleans Business Alliance, the city’s official economic development organization with a focus on equity and inclusion. Her additional roles include wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, board member, historic building lover, household laundry manager, and children’s book author.

Her first children’s book, Beignets for Breakfast, was illustrated by Allison Lemon and published by Susan Schadt Press in October 2019. Her second one, Red Beans & Rice, was illustrated by her mother, Roberta Van Zandt Loflin, and was also published by Susan Schadt Press and released in September 2020. Her books aim to capture the attention of children, engage the readers, and commission original artwork for the illustrations as a way to pay homage to all artists whose talent brightens our lives, oftentimes without us even realizing it.

Jeanette graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Trade and Finance, and received both her Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree and Master of Business Administration degree from the University of New Orleans.

David Weill, MD

Dr. Weill is the former Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program at Stanford University Medical Center. He is currently the Principal of the Weill Consulting Group which focuses on improving the delivery of pulmonary, ICU, and transplant care.
Dr. Weill has served in a variety of international and national roles, both in the private and public sectors, and has authored numerous medical articles, book chapters, and editorials.

He has twice testified before the United States Senate about how various inhaled occupational exposures affect lung heath. He has also appeared before various state legislatures and has lectured extensively nationally and internationally at major medical conferences and academic medical centers.
Dr. Weill’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Salon, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, STAT, USA Today, the Washington Post, The Hill, and the Los Angeles Times. He also has been interviewed on CNN and by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His memoir Exhale: Hope, Healing, and A Life in Transplant will be published in May 2021 by Post Hill Press.

Dr. Weill serves on the TransMedics Board of Directors and the GlycosBio, Kallaco, and the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association Scientific Advisory Boards, as well as various non-profit boards including the Tulane Medical School, Xavier University of Louisiana, the Isidore Newman School, Elevate, KatyCares, and NextGen Personal Finance. He is also on the Advisory Council of the Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship.

He lives in New Orleans with his wife Jackie and their two daughters, Hannah and Ava.

Curtis Wilkie

CURTIS WILKIE covered civil rights activity in Mississippi in the 1960s and afterward served as a national and international correspondent for a quarter century at the Boston Globe. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

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 higher ed levels. After spending more than a decade with five different NCAA Division I college athletics programs, he transitioned to K-12 communications in St. Tammany Parish in 2017. He returned to higher education at the state level in March 2021. 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.

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.

Since publishing his first book, Lucky Enough: A Year of a Dad’s Daily Notes of Encouragement and Life Lessons to His Daughter, in September 2018, Chris has appeared nationally on NBC’s TODAY and The Kelly Clarkson Show as well as numerous media outlets throughout the New Orleans Metro.