School of Liberal Arts Welcomes Journalist Vann R. Newkirk II to Media Conference

The Bobby Yan Lecture on Media and Social Change from the School of Liberal Arts welcomes Vann R. Newkirk II for a lecture and conversation on Wednesday, February 16 at 6 p.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall at the Lavin Bernick Center for university life. Newkirk is an editor at The Atlantic and host and co-creator of the “Floodlines” podcast. (Photo courtesy of the School of Liberal Arts)

The Bobby Yan Lecture on Media and Social Change from the School of Liberal Arts welcomes Vann R. Newkirk II for a lecture and conversation on Wednesday, February 16 at 6 p.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall on the second floor of the Lavin Bernick Center for University Life.

Newkirk is an editor at Atlanticand the host and co-creator of the 2021 Peabody Award-winning “Floodlines” podcast, an eight-part narrative series about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, released in March 2020.

“Floodlines” was named the best podcast of 2020 by NPR, the new yorker and New York Magazine. For years, Newkirk has covered suffrage, democracy, and environmental justice, focusing on how race and class shape the fundamental structures of the country and the world. He was also a 2020 James Beard Award finalist, a 2020 11th Hour Fellow at New America, and a 2018 winner of the American Society of Magazine Editors’ ASME Next Award.

Newkirk’s speech, tentatively titled “Storytelling Against the Crisis,” will address the twin threats of the climate crisis and racial inequality and how they have affected African American history, as well as how storytelling is a underused tool against these threats. He will specifically discuss how journalism, oral history, documentary and photography – by and in vulnerable communities – will be essential to changing the narrative of who African Americans are, and how these communications will also be essential to slow the onslaught of climate change that affects the most marginalized people.

Newkirk will spend part of the lecture in conversation with associate professor of history Andy Horowitz, who won a Bancroft Prize for his book Katrina: A History, 1915-2015.

“Vann Newkirk is a brilliant observer and analyst,” Horowitz said. “His writing is both so sophisticated and so human, especially on topics like the dispossession of Southern farmers, the lead poisoning of children who live here in New Orleans, and other situations where he is essential to understand how historical structures of inequality, particularly racism, impinge on the lives of individuals today. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to discuss with him.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Presented by the School of Liberal Arts, this annual class is named after Tulane Trailblazer and alumnus Bobby Yan.

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