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Looking Back At Katrina Through The Arts

 NEWARK, N.J. –  On Wednesday a group of poets, playwrights and filmmakers will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation with discussions and readings of poems, oral histories and stories, and presentations of film clips, all related to the disaster and its aftermath.  They are part of a one-day symposium, “Art and Disaster: Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later,” to be presented at Rutgers University, Newark, on Sept. 30.  “Hurricane Katrina offers us lessons on topics like race, class, and suffering in the United States that the work of these leading artists throws into relief,” said Alex Hinton, professor of anthropology and global affairs and director of the Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights, and Global Affairs (

The free program, which is open to the public, takes place from 11:30 a.m.  – 9 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in the Paul Robeson Galleries, on the main floor of the Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Newark.  It is sponsored by the Rutgers Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights, in partnership with the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, both on the Newark campus.

The agenda for Wednesday follows:


September 30, 2010 ,Paul Robeson Gallery, Paul Robeson Campus Center


11:30 - 1 p.m., Session I: Narrative and Memory

Welcome Remarks, Chancellor Steven Diner

·         Professor Clement Price, Rutgers University, Newark

·         Catherine Filloux, playwright

·         Laura Simms, storyteller and writer


 1 - 2:30 p.m., Break


2:30 - 3:50 p.m., Session II: Poetry and Memoir

·         Patrica Smith, poet

·         Joyce Zonana, creative non-fiction/memoir


 4 - 5:30 p.m., Session III: Literary and Visual Representation

·         Cynthia Hogue, poet

·         Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno & Jerome Bongiorno, filmmakers


 5:30-6 p.m., Break


 6 - 7:20 p.m., Session IV: Voice and Place

·         Nicole Cooley, poet

·         Stacy Parker Le Melle, oral historian


7:30 - 8:30 p.m., Keynote Address

Yusef Komunyakaa, poet


8:30-9 p.m., Reception


The Paul Robeson Campus Center is wheelchair-accessible, as is the Rutgers-Newark campus. Rutgers‑Newark can be reached by New Jersey Transit buses and trains, the PATH train and Amtrak from New York City, and by Newark Light Rail. Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers‑Newark's public parking garage, at 200 University Ave. 


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