Hi All, 

First of all, I am totally new here on OAC. I read the description and really liked the idea. It reminds me very much of a project we've been running at the Institute of Anthropology, where I currently study. Only, this is a virtual platform, which of course reaches global proportions. 

Anyway - I'll start out by asking, if anyone, has any specific literature or knowledge of any literature which revolves around New Orleans. More concretely, literature from a "material point-of-view" on a Post-Katrina New Orleans? 

I am planning to write an essay (foremost for educational reasons, but with a general interest) about material culture in New Orleans and how people (still undefined group) have experienced being "separated" from their, wholly or partly, destroyed homes and put into FEMA-trailers or other temporary-housing-installations. How this might have impacted their individual character in terms of identity, given their identity and character are dialectically constituted through their interaction and usage of things/objects/materials? 

What I think I really seek - is more like empirical data concerning the matter? Sociological and/or Anthropological Monographs about Post-Katrina New Orleans and the like... ? 

Lastly - the idea about writing this essay is pretty new and I haven't really developed it entirely yet. Once again, I'm glad to be aboard OAC and I hope to contribute as much as possible. I am looking forward to hear from you - take care! 


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Nice to hear about your plan. The materiality of events like New Orleans is something I've been keeping an eye out for but very, very lazily so I only have a couple of suggestions - and I haven't even read them properly (yet). But anyway, here:

What is a city? by Philip Steinberg and Rob Shields is written post-Katrina by academics (including anthropologists).

Even more inspiring in a way is my current bed-time reading: Rebecca Solnit's A Paradise Built in Hell, with the provocative subtitle, The Extraordinary communities that arise in disaster. The last case there is New Orleans after Katrina, but certainly the first third of the book is worth a read too. It doesn't explicitly address material losses, but does show how important material things are! (And I really enjoy Solnit's prose).

Would be curious to hear of any others. There are a couple of items I can think of about architectural ruins, both anthropological and popular, which is a related but perhaps totally different topic.



Different from the specific questions you name, but perhaps of interest, would be research on the way Katrina provided an opportunity to try to implement ideas about 'mixed communities' (i.e. the Hope VI project) which have been being rolled out more generally in the US and globally.

However, such data would shed more light on how policy makers think the material/ economic/ social/ 'cultural' interact. 

It will be interesting to see what you come up with/ where you go with the piece.

Jannik Friberg Lindegaard said:

Thank you for your suggestions Eeva. I will surely look into those. I don't know any of that literature, but surely, everything of anthropological character can be of use. 

As a side remark: What I am, at the moment heavily influenced by is Tim Ingolds Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description . Everything involving sort of, mesh-works, post-modernistic(ish) thinking, Posthumanistic(ish) thinking and other sorts of new network/mesh theory is of interest. But of course, as I mentioned, the most important thing for me right now, is to figure out, and get inspired, where I can find empirical material and data in order for me to analyze it. Once again thanks for your reply and your suggestions, Eeva.

Tracey, also thank you very much for your reply. That's surely of interest. It would surely require, for me to dig deep into some reports and other kinds of official documents concerning Hope VI. As I can see, Hope VI, is operating in Desire Projects in New Orleans. As I read the description of Hope VI I get the impression, that it should be possible to apply a lot of anthropological knowledge and at the same time use the implicitly critical aspect of the discipline as well. Good find!

Thank you both! I'll spend a little time looking further into my options and continue developing further ideas on the matter.




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