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Black New Orleans Archival Research Seminar

[Black NOLA]


Black New Orleans Research Seminar [Black NOLA] examines the development of a unique African/American cultural and political identity in New Orleans, beginning with the founding of the city in 1718.


Seminar members conduct individual guided research projects and make use of archival materials and library special collections. Roundtable discussions provide a forum for seminar  members to explore alternative interpretations and applications of received history/narratives, and to present specific research questions for consideration by the group as a whole.

Storyville, Faubourg Tremé aerial view.

The seminar begins with the development of Faubourg Tremé, the oldest free Black community in the United States. Topics covered include:

_slavery, rebellion, and resistance;

_relations between enslaved and free Black people;

_early social and political activism, and the resulting early development of the nation's Civil Rights Movement and legislation;


_formation and continued tradition of artists' and artisans' guilds;


_Creole language (e.g., Creole slave songs, proverbs);

_arts and art forms, including literature, performance, and the development of Jazz;

_economic, cultural, and political significance of Congo Square;

_the relationship of the city to the Caribbean and Latin America; 

_early development of the city as a center for commerce and legislation;

_natural and built environments, with special attention to the impact of hurricanes, and man-made disaster in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina- and Rita-related floods and devastation.

The course website includes:

_Archival/Special Collections Resources

_Faubourg Tremé Chronology


_"Faubourg Tremé: Community in Transition"

    by Brenda Marie Osbey parts 1--7

_Additional resources.

 New Orleans Slave Mart.



1967 Research-Arts Seminar [67RAS] examines the crucial role of African American resistance, arts, and activism in changing the political and cultural landscape of the United States in that pivotal year.

Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas












Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas [MAPA] examines the origins of Modernism among Africana authors of the Americas (New World), and treats poetry, poetics and poetry movements of Brazil and Latin America, the Caribbean and United States from the 18th through the first half of the 20th century.











Included at the course website are:


_Course outline & requirements

_assigned texts

_paper topics and guidelines

_chronology/s of poets, works and



_literary reference and resource

materials, including links to poetry

dictionaries and encyclopedias, resources

for further reading


& more.

Martin Carter


Guyana, S.A.

Domingos Caldas Barbosa


 Brazil, S.A.


Candelario Obeso 


Colombia, S.A.

Texts are presented/studied in the original languages and in translation.

A full list of works and movements is available during the regular term.

The seminar developed from and is part of the larger *MAPA in Translation project.

*MAPA in Translation is a long-term study, bringing together works of Africana poets from across the Americas writing in Portuguese, French, Spanish and English.


The project provides new, original and annotated cross-translations. The result is a multi-volume text, in which, for the first time, these works will be available for reading and study simultaneously in the four major languages of the Americas. 

Translated and edited

by Brenda Marie Osbey.



At page top: New Orleans skyline, tombs of St. Louis Cemetery #1 in foreground.

History, Archives, & Narrative Poetry

[HANP 1 and 2]


™ and © 2019, 2020

by Brenda Marie Osbey


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