August 25, 2015—Nearly ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States and unleashed a path of severe destruction across the region. Katrina also brought an onslaught of media attention, perhaps most notably in New Orleans, Louisiana, where flood walls and levees disastrously failed after the hurricane's landfall.
With the storm’s anniversary approaching, we sat down with Dr. Bernie Cook, Georgetown’s director of film and media studies, to learn about his new book, Flood of Images: Media, Memory, and Hurricane Katrina (University of Texas). The book “investigates how media representations both shaped and contested collective memories of Katrina,” and how “the twenty-four-hour news cycle created a surplus of representation that overwhelmed viewers and complicated understandings of the storm, the flood, and the aftermath.”
A native of New Orleans, Cook calls the project his “most personal work of scholarship” to date.
Bernie Cook is also an associate dean in Georgetown College. Video by Kuna Malik Hamad.
To mark Katrina’s ten-year anniversary, Bernie Cook, Professor Soyica Colbert (performing arts), Professor Adam Rothman (history), Professor Randall Amster (justice and peace studies), and Professor Jo Ann Moran Cruz (history) have organized Georgetown’s Katrina@10 Symposium, which will take place on October 22 and 23.
Dedicated to assessing the impact of media and cultural performance on the public memory of Hurricane Katrina, the symposium will offer film screenings, musical performances, and panel discussions. Events include a concert with New Orleans native Donald Harrison, Jr., and panels featuring Leo Chiang, Luisa Dantas, Lolis Elie, Jordan Flaherty, Tamara Jackson, Tia Lessin, Dawn Logsdon, Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Lynnell Thomas, Kim Vaz, and Tracie Washington.
For the full schedule and more, visit: www.katrina-10.com.