News Story


October 6, 2015—This month, Georgetown’s Film and Media Studies Program will host Katrina@10, a national symposium that will examine the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans on memory, culture, history, media, policy, and social justice.

The two-day symposium will include panel discussions, a film screening, and a musical performance. “Katrina was experienced as a media event marked by a surplus of images and a paucity of experience. Ten years later, Katrina presents a problem for memory and for understanding,” Bernie Cook, director of the Film and Media Studies Program, said. “If Katrina is to be understood, we must interrogate the production of our own collective memories.”

Georgetown faculty will lead discussions on media and memory, cultural history, and justice and activism. Dr. Randall Amster, director of the Program on Justice and Peace, will bring together a panel of activists and journalists to discuss “not only what has gone wrong, but also what people have been doing about it—in New Orleans and elsewhere,” Amster said. “The storm exposed some of the deep-seated structural issues—in particular, around race and inequality—that remain largely unaddressed in society, setting a tone for subsequent mobilizations that have emerged in recent years.”

Associate Professor of History Adam Rothman will host a panel on the cultural history of New Orleans, a city he notes that was “drenched in history” before Hurricane Katrina. “Katrina threatened to wash away the city’s history. Yet New Orleans’s historic culture—and its culture of history—has proven tenacious and vital to the city’s recovery, incomplete as that recovery has been,” Rothman explained. “History remains as contested as ever; it is a cultural battlefront for rival conceptions of the city.”

The symposium will be held on October 22–23, 2015. Katrina@10 was made possible by a Reflective Engagement Grant from Georgetown University.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, October 22, 2015

  • 6–8:30 p.m.: Film screening of Trouble The Water (2008), directed and produced by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. After the screening, Lessin will discuss the film’s production and reception with Dr. Bernie Cook, associate dean and director of the Film and Media Studies Program.
  • 8:30–9:30 p.m.: Opening Night Reception in Riggs Library, Healy Hall.

Friday, October 23, 2015

  • 9:30–11 a.m.: Dr. Bernie Cook will lead a panel discussion on media and memory with filmmakers Lolis Elie, Dawn Logsdon, Leo Chiang, and Luisa Dantas.
  • 11:15–12:45 p.m.: Associate Professor Adam Rothman will lead a panel discussion with Professor Kim Vaz, of Xavier University in New Orleans; Cherice Harrison-Nelson, educator and curator of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame; and Professor Lynnell Thomas, of the University of Massachusetts Boston.
  • 1:15–2:30 p.m.: Saxophonist and New Orleans native Donald Harrison Jr. will perform as part of the Music Program’s Friday Music Series.
  • 3–4:30 p.m.: Dr. Randall Amster will lead a panel on justice and activism with Jordan Flaherty, community activist and journalist; Tamara Jackson, executive director of Silence is Violence; and Tracie Washington, president and CEO of the Louisiana Justice Institute.

Related Information

Visit the Katrina@10 website for more details on symposium events and to RSVP.