We Still Live In Walker Percy's World



“The Moviegoer” isn’t really about movies, yet the title remains unexpectedly apt, just as it was when the novel, published in 1961, became a surprise winner of the National Book Award...  It’s apt because it moves the novel (and our expectations for the novel) out of the South. It intimates that this novel, set in New Orleans, the region’s most storied city, isn’t about history or legacy, isn’t about place at all: it’s about how we see things—a novel of perception and sensibility, dealing with the search for authenticity in a scripted, stylized, mediated world. More>>

CGS: A BRIEF HISTORY


The Center for Gulf South History and Culture (CGS) was founded in New Orleans in 1976 by noted educator and cultural anthropologist Stephen Duplantier. Acclaimed CGS productions include Zydeco: Creole Music and Culture in Rural Louisiana, a 60 minute video production by nationally syndicated American Routes radio producer Nicholas Spitzer; Vivre Pour Manger, a 30 minute video exploration of Cajun cuisine by Stephen Duplantier, the Louisiana Folklife Guide, the definitive compendium of this state's folkways produced by Nicholas Spitzer and D. Eric Bookhardt, Mesechabe, the Journal of Surregionalism, edited and produced by Dennis Formento, You Got To Know How To Pony: The Story of Chris Kenner, a 30 minute radio documentary produced by David Kunian and Bill Taylor, Portraits from Memory: New Orleans in the Sixties by Darlene Fife, and poet John Sinclair's Fattening Frogs for Snakes Delta Sound Suite (Surregional Press), among others.

Currently CGS collaborates with the New Orleans Art Insider and Center Gulf Caribbean as well as the residency program for research and curatorial guests of ParseNola, which in turn co-sponsors the CGS Residency Program. CGS also continues to initiate research projects into overlooked aspects of New Orleans History and culture. MORE>>

Forgetten Histories: Free Women of Color in the Development of Faubourg Marigny


Rosette Rochon’s Cottage, 1515 Pauger Street
By Eugene Cizek

"...In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, New Orleans and the Caribbean grew very close. It was a time of great wealth and cultural development for both the white and free black communities of both locales. Faubourg Marigny became one of the most favored places for the in­coming Creoles. A large portion of these cottages were the homes of free women of color, a group often not recognized for their important role as New Orleans became one of the world’s leading port cities. Bernard de Marigny, his brother Jean de Marigny and their free woman of color half-sister Eulalie de Mandeville, knew what great oppor­tunities lay in their futures. Bernard and Jean were the sons of Pierre and his wife Jeanne Marie Destrehan. Before this marriage, Eulalie was born to Pierre and Marie Jeane, an enslaved woman born in the Congo, who was given her freedom after the birth of her free-born daughter. Marie Jeane and Eulalie were an integral part of the Marigny family and Eulalie was rightfully viewed and raised as a daughter in the household. Pierre’s mother, Madame de Mandeville, was very close to Eulalie, and supervised her courtship with Eugene McCarty, of the wealthy white McCarty family, who eventually became her husband. Eulalie is an excellent representative of the wealth and power that drove these women to create such rich and prosperous lives." More>>
See Also: Meeting Eulalie>>

Meeting Eulalie: A Look at the Extraordinary Life and Times of Eulalie de Mandeville


by Casey Ruble

In 1774, a child was born to an enslaved mother and the largest white landowner in Louisiana. Emancipated at age five by her grandfather for “the good services received from her mother” and “the love and affection I have for one born in my household,” she was raised by the aristocratic Mandeville de Marigny family. She went on to become one of the wealthiest free women of color in New Orleans. Her name was Eulalie. More>>

Designing Pandemonium:

An Art History of Mardi Gras 
by D. Eric Bookhardt 

Societe de Ste Anne Procession (circa 1982)



The Female Eye, Comus, 1869
Mardi Gras has always involved a  synergistic alignment of the mainstream and the esoteric, the street and the elite, the Apollonian and the Dionysian although, of course, the latter  has always held the advantage. Forver skirting the margins of the forbidden, it has eternally been  propelled by the elusive spirits of creative anarchy that ultimately hark to its origins in the myths and mysteries of pre-Christian antiquity. More>>

Bror Anders Wikstrom: Proteus Float Design, 1907