These projects participated in the In the Wake of the Hurricanes Coalition.

Surviving Katrina and Rita in Houston, Texas

The Texas Commission on the Arts, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (AFC), and the University of Houston (UH) are partnering on a project to engage hurricane survivors now living in Houston in the task of collecting the stories of fellow survivors. It is our goal to train up to 300 survivors through AFC-conducted field schools to document the experiences, memories, and narratives of as many as 3000 of their peers. Field school participants will receive free training as well as financial compensation; we anticipate that the training will heighten survivor skills and enhance their long-term employment opportunities. Survivor narratives will focus not only on storm accounts, but also on the communities the survivors left behind and the new communities they are creating in the Houston area. Public programming based upon the narratives and photographic documentation, as well as upon survivors' musical and other traditional arts, will keep the plight of the survivors and their great cultural gifts prominent in the minds of Houstonians as time passes and thus fend off the 'hurricane fatigue' that has affected much of the nation. The narratives will be housed at the AFC and UH. Project directors welcome any information on survivors living in the Houston area who may wish to participate as field school students or interviewees. We also hope to find survivors to staff a few administrative positions, such as fieldwork coordinator and archivist.

Carl Lindahl & Pat Jasper, Co-Directors
Carl Lindahl, University of Houston: 713 743 2955 /
Pat Jasper: 512 459 3495 /

Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Collecting and Preserving the Stories of Katrina and Rita

A collaboration of the University of New Orleans and George Mason University, this project enables individuals to post their stories and media online. It also links to or includes several other projects. Contact:

Hurricane Stories Project, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Center for Cultural Resources (CCR), in Baton Rouge Louisiana, established the "Hurricane Stories Project." We have put together a team of trained ethnographers to collect stories through a variety of methods (face-to-face, electronic, text) and from a range of perspectives. We are interested in stories that cut across class--from the very poor to the very rich, from the disenfranchised to policy makers. We are especially targeting stories which can have a voice in future public policy. CCR will, in addition, work with volunteers from around the country, who have already contacted the organization based on national media attention. Once the primary materials have been collected, CCR plans to make documents available to the public through on-line audio/video files; printed materials; archived products; photographs; CDs; public events; and a book. Students at East Baton Rouge Arts & Technology School received a grant to help CCR further develop a website.

Jocelyn Donlon, Ph.D. & Jon Donlon, Ph.D., Co-Directors
Center for Cultural Resources.

Katrina Narratives of African Americans in an Unprecedented Diaspora: A Social and Environmental Oral History Project

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the fragmented and harrowing pieces of many narratives of African Americans who were trapped in the Superdome, Convention Center, and their flooded homes have emerged on television and the internet. Some evacuated immediately while others were forced to wait many days to be rescued; most migrated to points across the United States; and many are now attempting to return to the Gulf region. As a result, the news media has opened an insightful dialogue across the United States and throughout the world concerning race, racism, and class. Scholars now have an opportunity to add to this exchange of ideas-not merely replicating the news-as a catalyst for analyzing the historical context for this natural disaster by looking at African influences, the Middle Passage, enslavement, freedom, migration, the Civil Rights movement and more. Out of this tragedy, I propose an oral history project that would give the Katrina narratives by African Americans scope adding to what is in the news emphasizing the social and environmental implications.

Dianne Glave, Ph.D.
Center for Bioenvironmental Research, Tulane University
Temporary Mailing Address Post-Katrina: Department of History, Emory University, 561 S. Kilgo
Circle, Bowden Hall, Atlanta, GA 30322, (off-line for now),

Newcomb Women's Stories from the Storms, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Newcomb College Center for Research on Women has partnered with Tulane University's Office of Service Learning to train and assist students with the collection of oral histories from alumnae, faculty, staff and students of Newcomb College affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This project seeks to document the multiple ways the hurricane and its aftermath has affected these women's lives. In particular, we are interested in women's perception of how the hurricane affected their role in the family, in the community, and/or on campus. Given the post-Katrina announcement of Tulane University's restructuring and the end of Newcomb College as a degree-granting women's college within Tulane, we will also ask the interviewees to speak of Newcomb's past and unknown future.

Cristina Hernandez
Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, 200 Caroline Richardson Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118
504-865-5762 /,

The I-10 Witness Project, New Orleans, Louisiana

The I-10 Witness Project is a community based story collective formed to document the myriad tales emerging from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Administered by the multi-disciplinary New Orleans Arts Production company Mondo Bizarro, this project has been collecting narratives in the New Orleans area since late September. I-10 Witness seeks to give voice to affected Louisiana citizens by documenting their stories through sound and video. We strive to cultivate a forum where citizens can voice their concerns about the reconstruction, redevelopment and rejuvenation of south Louisiana and New Orleans.

For further information please visit or call the office of Mondo Bizarro at (504)-304-7855.

Cultural Survival and Cultural Loss in Three South Louisiana Communities, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Members of LSU's Department of English, Geography and Anthropology, and the College of Art and Design are working together to document the cultural effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Louisiana's Gulf Coast communities through interviews, documentary film, and cultural mapping using GIS technology. Among our many areas of interest is gender difference in people's experiences of disaster. The project includes New Orleans (especially the Ninth Ward) but also rural parishes that have received much less media attention, including Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and Terrebonne.

Carolyn Ware and Jim Catano are presently locating, interviewing, and filming members of the Croatian and Isleno communities, documenting the hurricanes' effects on commercial fishing, material culture, and community events such as the annual Isleno Fiesta, the Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival, and the Croatian St. Anthony's Day celebration. Later we plan to interview members of New Orleans' Vietnamese community and Houma Indian residents of Terrebonne Parish. Screen writer Mari Kornhauser is filming in the French quarter, other parts of new Orleans, and Plaquemines Parish. Joyce Jackson is documenting Mardi Gras Indians in the Ninth Ward, and Marchita Mauck is working with displaced congregations of several New Orleans churches.
Carolyn Ware, Ph.D.
Dept of English, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
225-578-3022 /

Animal Shelter Caregivers After the Storms

Carolyn Ware and Beth Tomlinson are interviewing volunteers who worked at the LSU Hurricane Animal Shelter, as well as clinicians and students at LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine, about their experiences as emergency caregivers for pets separated from their owners during the storms.
Carolyn Ware, Ph.D.
Dept of English, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
225-578-3022 /


Rebecca Hankins and Akua Duku Anokye documented survivors of Katrina in College Station and Dallas, Texas, in Arizona, and possibly in Florida. She interviewed people from St Bernard, Jefferson and Orleans Parish.
Rebecca Hankins
Africana Studies Librarian/Curator, Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, MS5000 TAMU, College Station TX 77843-5000
979-845-1951, 979-845-1441 fax /
Akua Duku Anokye
Arizona State University West

Donna Maria Bonner is analyzing hurricane narratives by students from the University of New Orleans; conducting ethnographic research concerning New Orleanians rebuilding lives in Diaspora and in New Orleans; and analyzing public discourse concerning Rebuilding. Foci of her work include the transformation of New Orleans identities in the context of disaster and the meaning of material culture in the context of destruction.
Donna Bonner, Ph.D., Austin, Texas 504-874-5624

Dayna Lee is interviewing Creoles in Natchitoches and New Orleans.
Dayna Lee, Ph.D.
Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, Box 3663, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA 71497
318-357-4328 /

Susan Roach is interviewing evacuees in the Ruston, Louisiana area.
Susan Roach, Ph.D.
Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, English Dept, PO Box 3162 TS, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272
318-257-2728 /

Laura Westbrook is interviewing evacuees in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.
Laura Westbrook, Ph.D.
Louisiana Regional Folklife Program, University of New Orleans

Sharon Orgeron is interviewing evacuees in the New Orleans area and beyond with a focus on the impact on faith communities.
Sharon Orgeron
Metairie, La.
504-341-7148 /