The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University (NOCGS) explores the region's intersections with Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean through research, community engagement and a new curriculum. Often ignored in US histories, New Orleans and the larger Gulf South figure uniquely within colonial, regional, national, and global narratives.
The NOCGS is the home of a new major -- Musical Cultures of the Gulf South – and research on the region’s music and culture is central to our mission. Jazz, blues, zydeco, Cajun, swamp pop and bounce all have their origins here; Gulf Coast musicians have made seminal contributions to ragtime, rhythm-and-blues, rock-and- roll, funk, and hiphop; country and gospel have always flourished here.
Right after the Civil War, brass band music became central to a New Orleans way of musical communication: uplifted horns represented the sound of Emancipation and the sounding of a new freedom. Within this region, hundreds of African ethnic groups distilled a pan-African American culture that remains the most influential musical culture of the past century.
New Orleans remains a cosmopolitan urban culture founded in the tripartite colonial mix of European, African, and Native American peoples, stirred by the migrations of Cajuns and Haitians in the eighteenth century, and transformed as a crucial national port by a familiar nineteenth-century ethnic mix of Italians, Jews, Irish, and Polish-Americans. More recently, immigrants from Vietnam and Latin America have become integral to the region's ethnic admixture.
The Gulf South Center awards two fellowships to help strengthen an emerging body of scholarship. Monroe Fellowships provide Tulane faculty with resources to enhance their current research projects. Global South fellowships are open to all scholars with projects focused on the cultural intersections of the Gulf South with the Caribbean, the Francophone world, and the African diaspora. In addition, the NOCGS has received a generous grant from the Music Rising foundation with the express mission to communicate the sustaining organic factors of Gulf South music and culture.
Joel Dinerstein is the Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies and serves as an Associate Professor in English. Karen Celestan is the Senior Program Manager of the Music Rising initiative. She holds an MFA and is the co-author of Unfinished Blues… with Harold Battiste, Jr.
Tulane University, New Orleans Gulf South Center, 112 Newcomb Hall New Orleans LA 70118 504-314-2883 firstname.lastname@example.org