Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Urbanism and federal policies

Tomorrow I'm lecturing (for real, like talking all by myself, which for some reason I've been loath to do this summer session) to my Intro to American Studies class. I've assigned them some online reading about Detroit as a case study, and I'll be providing them with a lot of history about federal policies and corporate actions that led to the Rust Belt and the depopulation of and white flight from cities in the Midwest and Northeast.

I've also been reading Eric Avila's book Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight, and I'm realizing how little I really know about how these processes work. Broad strokes, yes; specifics, no.

And now I'm wondering (of course at 10 p.m. on the night before I must lecture) how to tie all this in to today's New Orleans and the aftermath of Katrina. I'll figure out something, but if you have any tips, please leave them in the comments. :)


Rebecca said...

I don't really have any tips because, even though I lived in New Orleans for several years, I'm just not familiar with your subject. If you do figure out a way to relate it, though, I hope you'll post about it. I think it would be very interesting.

The History Enthusiast said...

I'm afraid I can't be of much help either.... I've been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it! If you're interested, you can link to my blog at http://historyenthusiast.blogspot.com. I'm a grad student studying nineteenth-century America. Good luck with the lecture, and I'm sure it will go great!

Seeking Solace said...

I am not sure about Katrina, but you may want to look at the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Great Socieity.

Anonymous said...

Like Rebecca, I'm unfamiliar with your subject matter, but it seems to me that what is happening in New Orleans now is that federal policy/corporate practices have the potential to hinder the return of the lower economic classes to the city while supporting a "playground for the rich" type of rebuild. This would wash out the unique tapestry of cultural practices and performances that exist in New Orleans like the Mardi Gras Indians. Spike Lee's recent documentary touches on this. For a genealogical approach to these performances, you can look at Joseph Roach's "Cities of the Dead." I don't know if this helps but I enjoy reading your blog and good luck!