Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House (2019) is a timely book about belonging and growing up, set in New Orleans on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. Inspired by the book’s themes, the panel of Baton Rouge Community College faculty add poetry, performance and reflection. Poetry read by Carrie Causey and a performance by Danielle Vignes offer a dynamic approach to healing. Professor Whitton, Dept. Chair, English and Humanities, discusses truth and perspective while challenging readers, and authors alike, to think about the purpose and meaning not only in memoirs but in life itself.
Chair: Lisa Namikas, History, Baton Rouge Community College, Associate Professor
Carrie Causey, "Poems from the Interior Landscape"
Associate Professor and poet, Carrie Causey, will read poems that explore how weather and landscape become vivid characters in individual and cultural memory. Storm, fog, creek—levee, river, delta-- a sense of place creates an interior landscape through which we can connect with ourselves and process loss.
Danielle Vignes, “Hang It Out To Dry”: Performing Ethnography, Cultural Memory, and Hurricane Katrina in Chalmette, Louisiana
Dr. Danielle Vignes, Associate Professor of Speech at Baton Rouge Community College will read excerpts from “Hang it Out To Dry,” a solo performance about the washed away community and spun tales of Chalmette, Louisiana, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Performed since October 2006, the show tells the story of how multiple voices of lived experience can offer insight into the larger community. The performance depicts the struggles, hopes, and fears that many Saint Bernard Parish community members faced, years after the storm.
Natasha Whitton, Storytelling or Mythmaking: Memoirs in an Age of Authenticity
Chair, Department of English and Humanities at Baton Rouge Community College, Natasha Whitton will discuss truth and meaning in narrative. In Sarah Broome's memoir The Yellow House, she tells the story of four generations of her New Orleans family using her own perspective and that of her mother as the primary sources. Her gaze includes family myths without always seeking out a final truth. Should memoir sacrifice narrative for authenticity or is the myth what moves the reader?
To attend in-person: To comply with social distancing guidelines, in-person seating is limited and registration is required to attend. Registration is available on this webpage or call 225-231-3750 for registration assistance.