NMC Regional Conferences are a one-of-a-kind event, each very much a reflection of the host institution. In fall 2007, the NMC will be in New Orleans for a very special regional event to be held on the campus of Tulane University and hosted by Technology Services.
The theme of the NMC’s series of regional conferences has traditionally been “New Challenges … New Ideas” and in past years that has always been interpreted as the challenges we face with new media — its applications and uses, helping campuses stay innovative — and the regional conferences have always showcased best practices in response to these challenges.
This year, the challenges still faced by the citizens of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina provide a backdrop to the regional conference that redefines every aspect of that theme. In a city known for its art and culture, the myriad stories of New Orleans’s courage and rebirth in the face of crisis have drawn deeply from the well of new media. These stories will be woven through the conference like threads in a tapestry, as we examine the role of new media in community.
Instead of looking at how to meet the challenges we face with new media, we will look to how new media has become a tool that not only has helped communities meet unprecedented challenges, but indeed one that allows those compelling stories to be broadly told, in ways that serve to inform, enrich, and strengthen those communities. Our colelctive exploration will focus around these three areas:
|Wednesday, November 7|
|12:00 - 5:45 pm||Registration/Info Desk Open|
|1:00 - 2:15 pm||Opening Plenary|
|2:15 - 2:45 pm||Break|
|2:45 - 4:00 pm||Conference Sessions|
|4:00 - 4:30 pm||Break|
|4:30 - 5:45 pm||Conference Sessions|
|5:45 - 7:30 pm||Opening Reception
Home of President & Mrs. Scott Cowen
Sponsored by Tulane University
|Thursday, November 8|
|7:30 am - 5:15 pm||Registration/Info Desk Open|
|7:30 - 8:30 am||Continental Breakfast|
|8:30 - 9:45 am||Focused Panel Session|
|9:45 - 10:15 am||Break|
|10:15 - 11:30 am||Conference Sessions|
|11:30 am - 1:00 pm||Luncheon - Keynote Presentation|
|1:00 - 2:15 pm||Conference Sessions|
|2:15 - 2:45 pm||Break|
|2:45 - 4:00 pm||Conference Sessions|
|4:15 - 4:30 pm||Break|
|4:30 - 6:45 pm||Second Line & Reception
Sponsored by Yale University
|6:45 - 7:30 pm||Concert of Electro-Acoustic Music led by Tae Hong Park|
|Friday, November 9|
|8:30 am - noon||Registration/Info Desk Open|
|8:30 - 9:00 am||Continental Breakfast|
|9:00 - 10:15 am||Conference Sessions|
|10:45 am - noon||Closing Plenary|
See below the attached PDF for the conference program.
In a conference devoted to the wide and dazzling array of new media in relationship to intimatec community life in New Orleans and elsewhere, much of what may be extended in the classroom, broadcast or global networks comes from original human forms of expression. The implications of which are: pre-modern forms of artistic communication still speak to us, old modern forms like radio offer time-tested models of extending oral tradition and traditional aesthetics, and new media at their best often aim to recreate and create anew community experiences that we may feel are lost when the market-driven rush to new technology values form and efficiency over content.
Nick Spitzer is the host of American Routes , the radio program from New Orleans devoted to the sources and symbols of blues and jazz, country and gospel, roots rock and soul, as well as related ethnic, regional, popular and classical styles of the music and musicians that define the landscape of American vernacular culture. American Routes is co-produced by American Public Media and reaches nearly a million listeners nationwide each week on 250 stations. Nick is also known for cultural features on All Things Considered and Nightline, documentary CD recordings, and PBS films. Long involved in work with cultural creolization and African-French communities Spitzer served as the first Louisiana State Folklorist and then spent a decade at the Smithsonian—initially as senior folklife specialist and as artistic director for the Folk Masters concert series produced in collaboration with Carnegie Hall and Wolf Trap, and the annual American Roots 4th of July concerts broadcast from the National Mall. He was appointed Mellon professor in the humanities at Tulane University and is currently professor of folklore and cultural conservation at the University of New Orleans. In 2005 Nick received the New Orleans’ Mayor’s Arts Award. A strong advocate for the cultural rebuilding of the city post-catastrophe, he was named Louisiana Humanist of the Year in 2006. This year he is a Guggenheim Fellow researching traditions of creativity in Louisiana Creole communities.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance located on the campus of Loyola University in New Orleans provides ongoing school and community jazz education programs to help strengthen the school system, provide employment for New Orleans musicians, attract displaced musicians living in other areas of the country back to their hometown, and unite the city’s jazz, arts, and cultural communities. The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program is the world’s most intensive graduate-level college jazz education program attracting top young jazz musicians from around the globe. During the announcement, the inaugural New Orleans class, performed alongside jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and New Orleans native, Terence Blanchard who serves as the program’s artistic director.
Recently, Herbie Hancock, chairman of the Institute, made this comment about the Insitute’s mission, “New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz – and jazz is what made this city the place we know and love. With our “New Orleans Initiative” and a strong partnership with Loyola University, the City of New Orleans, and the New Orleans University Consortium, we’re working to keep jazz alive and vibrant in its home by bringing the next generation of great jazz musicians here to learn and by introducing jazz and its history to young people throughout the city. We know that when jazz flourishes, New Orleans will flourish too.”
Learn more about this innovative program from Suzan Jenkins, Senior Vice President of the New Orleans Initiative, herself an award winning jazz musician and producer, with more than 20 years in the industry.
Assembling content for an online database project regarding hurricanes Katrina and Rita provides daily opportunities to assess personal and community losses throughout the Gulf Coast. It also puts one into contact with the vast array of documentation efforts flourishing along the coast, particularly New Orleans, which serves as this catastrophe’s “Ground Zero.” Each individual’s story constitutes one invaluable piece in the immense debris field stretching from Texas to Alabama. New Media drives the documentation of the tragedies and ongoing recoveries; similarly, New Media must assist in making these invaluable materials accessible to both web surfers and scholars.
Michael Mizell-Nelson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of New Orleans and the Content and Outreach Lead for the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank. His research interests center upon the social and cultural history of New Orleans and 20th century US history. He is completing his book-length study of race relations in Jim Crow New Orleans. A background in broadcast video documentary production includes the feature-length Streetcar Stories and several documentary shorts, such as Vintage Drag, a documentary on 1930s and 40s female impersonators.