9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
To know where you are going, you need to know where you are from. Continuing in Rising Tide's tradition of relevant and pertinent historical speakers, we are pleased to announce New Orleans writer, editor and academic Lawrence Powell as a keynote speaker at Rising Tide 7. Known to be an engaging and entertaining speaker, Powell recently wrote "The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans," a book on the interesting and tumultuous beginnings of New Orleans from its imperiled first settlements to the eventual statehood of Louisiana.
Keynote: Lawrence N. Powell
"The Accidental History of an Accidental Book"
How the author stumbled into the 18th century and espied post-Katrina New Orleans through the lens of her colonial past."
Bio: Until his retirement in June 2012, Lawrence N. Powell held the James H. Clark Endowed Chair at Tulane University, where he also established and directed the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. He has written and edited twelve books and numerous articles. His most recent contributions are The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans (Harvard 2012) and George Washington Cable’s New Orleans (LSU 2008). His first book, New Masters: Northern Planters During the Civil War and Reconstruction won the Governor’s Award from Yale University Press in 1980. Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana (UNC Press) won the Lillian Smith Book Prize from the Southern Regional Council and the Kemper and Leila Williams Prize from the Louisiana Historical Association, both in 2000. It was also named by Booklist as one of the ten best Holocaust books of the year and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in the category of the Holocaust.
His professional and community service has been extensive, ranging from membership on the boards of the Amistad Research Center, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisiana State Museum Board, to the presidency of the Louisiana History Association and a stint on the executive committee of the Southern Historical Association. A co-founder as well as president of the Executive Committee of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University, from 1989 to 1992 he was vice-chair of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism (which he also helped found). For five years, until June 2005, he served as executive director of the Tulane-Xavier National Center for the Urban Community (NCUC), which administered the resident initiatives program for the Housing Authority of New Orleans, the city’s national demonstration Welfare-to-Work grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as the city’s JOB1 Youth Career Center. From 2002-2004 NCUC also administered the Individual Development Account Collaborative of Louisiana (IDACL), a statewide partnership of bankers, financial literacy trainers, credit counseling agencies, and other service providers to assist the working poor buy homes, start businesses, and further their education.
More than a productive scholar, Powell has also been an activist citizen, particularly in the arena of civil rights. He has chaired and organized national civil rights conferences and has been an expert witness in several federal voting rights cases in Louisiana. In 1998 he received the "George Washington Lucas Community Service Award" from the New Orleans branch of the NAACP.
A former Guggenheim Fellow, 1999 he was named “Louisiana Humanist of the Year” by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. In 2008 he was elected a Fellow in the Society of American Historians in recognition of literary distinction in the writing of history.