IDIS W12 New Orleans: Space, Place and Race

This program is not offered this academic year. See this year's interims.

Basic information

  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana | Map
  • Dates: January 6-26, 2016
  • Cost: $2,998 (exact)

New Orleans conjures up a diverse set of associations: the beautiful architecture of the French Quarter, Creole cuisine, Jazz, manmade and natural disasters of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, and Mardi Gras to name a few. Using the text, “Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas,” by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker, this interim will investigate the vibrant city of New Orleans through the reinvention of the traditional atlas.

The culture of this complex city will be explored through interwoven themes of geography, music, food, ecology, ethnicity, history, art, religion, commerce, and celebration. Cross Cultural Engagement will be integral to this interim as the culture of New Orleans is born from its diverse ethnic heritage beginning with the Houma tribe of Native Americans. After the French colony sold New Orleans to the United States in 1803, the city grew rapidly with influxes of Americans, French, Creoles, and Africans. Despite its role in the slave trade, New Orleans had the largest and most prosperous community of free persons of color in the nation, who were often educated and middle-class property owners. Later immigrants were Irish, German, and Italians, and most recently Arab, forming a city noted for its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage. The text, “The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change” by Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson will inform this interim’s engagement with New Orleans and provide context for student reflection. Students will spend fourteen days in New Orleans, exploring the city and meeting with various residents who study and shape the culture of the city in a variety of ways.

New Orleans, Louisiana



This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.


$2,998 (exact)

Questions / contact

Jennifer Steensma Hoag

Jennifer Hoag

Professor, Photography, Visual Culture
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