A Gig: HNOC Symposium

This one is dissertation-related, and pretty cool. The Historic New Orleans Collection is having a daylong symposium on the Territorial period in Louisiana, to go along with the forthcoming Territorial period exhibit, Between Colony and State — and they’ve asked none other than Me to present a half-hour talk on the subject of “Americans in Territorial New Orleans.”  More formally, it’s the 15th Annual Williams Research Center Symposium and a great privilege for me; I owe the invitation to Erin Greenwald, or Mark Fernandez, or both. The gig is on Saturday, January 30th.

Aside from the fact that I’ll be developing a talk geared towards a general audience, this is really a good fit for me since the first part of my dissertation will in fact deal with the issue of “Americans” who came to New Orleans in the years following 1803: who they were, why they came, and what they did. Naturally Edward Livingston plays a big role here, but there’s also Claiborne, James Brown, John Prevost, Richard Raynal Keene, etc etc. And then, of course, I’ll develop the question of who exactly was an American in New Orleans at this time–after all, wasn’t everyone living there technically an “American”? Who could be more “American” than James Workman, for instance? Or what about the “foreign French” like Arsène Latour, Pierre Derbigny, Auguste Davezac, etc, who embraced “American” identity wholeheartedly?