Lecture explores disappearing cultural legacy of New Orleans

Issue date: 09 March 2006

Louis Armstrong The third annual Fullbrook Lecture at the University of the West of England will feature Professor Helen Taylor from the University of Exeter who will talk on –A Transatlantic Perspective on the Disappearing Cultural Legacy of New Orleans.

The lecture will take place at the Chapel Lecture Theatre, St Matthias Campus, UWE on Thursday 16 March at 17.30. The Fullbrook Lecture was established in 2003 to commemorate Professor Kate Fullbrook, who held the post of Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences until her death in July 2003.

Professor Helen Taylor said, “The lecture will hopefully provide a fitting tribute to Professor Kate Fullbrook who was a close friend. I have published on New Orleans from a transatlantic perspective as I'm fascinated by the way this city has sustained a cultural conversation with Europe and the rest of the world. The lecture will focus on loss and memory and the revival of a city through the people who insist on bringing it back to life following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“While the hurricane destroyed much of New Orleans, this is not the first whole-scale destruction visited on the city. I will discuss Storyville, an area of New Orleans famous in the early 20th century for prostitution and jazz musicians such as Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong. This area was demolished in the 1920s and 30s by the city fathers bent on removing traces of this colourful site of prostitution, but rose again under the auspices of the Iberville (poor people's housing) project. This project was notorious in recent years for its drug-fuelled crime rate and apparent threat to the massive tourist industry of the French Quarter. The project was flattened by the Hurricane and I am interested to examine how the memories of this part of New Orleans are being kept alive through different cultural forms, from crime fiction to film.”

Professor Helen Taylor is the Executive Director of Creative Writing and Arts Programme at the University of Exeter. She specialises in the literature and culture of the American South; African-American writers; twentieth century American cultural production, women's writing and popular romance.

A past lecturer at UWE, Professor Taylor has taught English and American Literature and Women's Studies at the universities of Louisiana State USA, Bristol and Warwick. Her publications include 'Gender, Race and Region in the writings of Grace King, Ruth McEnery Stuart and Kate Chopin', 'Scarlett's Women: Gone with the Wind and its female fans' and 'Circling Dixie: Contemporary Southern Culture through a transatlantic lens'. She is currently editing a Daphne du Maurier Companion for the writer's centenary in 2007.

For more details and to reserve a ticket please contact janet.garland@uwe.ac.uk or call 0117 328 3853 or 0117 328 4529.


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