Lecture: Professor Manfred Prisching

Living with Katrina

Dr. Manfred Prisching
Professor of Sociology, University of Graz, Austria

When: Wednesday, April 8, 2009, 11 am
Where: Liberal Arts Lounge, LA 197

A week before Hurricane Katrine hit New Orleans, Dr. Prisching arrived with his family in New Orleans to begin a sabbatical semester at UNO. He moved into a house and was ready to teach a course on “globalization” in the UNO Sociology Department; his plan was write a book on globalization.

When Katrina hit on August 29, he evacuated “vertically” to the Hyatt Hotel. He was stuck in the Hyatt for four days after the storm and observed with the keen eye of a sociologist the descent into anarchy at the Superdome and chaos unfolding in New Orleans. He filed newspaper stories from the Hyatt for Austrian newspapers. He then evacuated to Houston and found a new home for the fall at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, where he spontaneously began to write a Katrina book.

Good Bye New Orleans was one of the very first Katrina books to be published in January 2006. This “lunch chat” will be about his experiences in New Orleans during the storm, the writing of the book, and his reflections of what Katrina teaches the seasoned sociologist.