A sense of place

October 13, 2015 8:45 AM

Mary Sparacello

Rebecca Snedeker

Rebecca Snedeker is the Clark Executive Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. While Snedeker will continue to expand the center’s music programs, she envisions increasing support for other realms and curating regular interdisciplinary programming, with an initial emphasis on environmental justice. (Photo by Arielle Pentes)

“I was attracted to the center for its potential to support learning experiences that help us understand where we are and engage our collective destiny.”

Rebecca Snedeker

Through her publications and films, Rebecca Snedeker has characterized New Orleans as the “unfathomable city.” In her new role as the Clark Executive Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, she will have the opportunity to explore the region in depth, both as a source of study and a platform for bringing together students, faculty members and the community.  

Snedeker is an accomplished documentary filmmaker, capturing an Emmy for Outstanding Historical Programming–Long Form in 2011 for her documentary Witness: Katrina. She won critical acclaim for the 2013 book, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, which she co-authored with Rebecca Solnit.

“New Orleans is my teacher, case study and source of wonder,” says Snedeker. She said that the directorship of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, which is housed in the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts, feels like a calling.

Carole Haber, dean of the School of Liberal Arts, says Snedeker has the vision and energy to support and grow the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South.

“Rebecca has a storyteller’s sense of place and a documentarian’s skill in managing multiple narratives,” Haber says. “Her talents will be an asset to the center.”

The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South supports research, teaching and community engagement focusing on New Orleans and the Gulf South. The center sponsors conferences, programming and service-learning courses and awards fellowships. Over the last five years, it has developed a strong focus on music, through the Music Rising website, the Musical Cultures of the Gulf South coordinate major, and service-learning programs such as the Trombone Shorty Academy.

While Snedeker is dedicated to these programs, she envisions increasing support for other areas such as environmental justice.

“Place-based learning requires the integration of a multiplicity of voices, approaches and understandings,” says Snedeker. “Learning how to go about this, and finding pleasure and mooring in it, is the essence of a liberal arts education.”

Mary Sparacello is a communications specialist in the Office of Development Communications.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu