Catastrophe, Survival, Music and Renewal: New Orleans Culture Post-Katrina | Los Angeles Public Library

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Catastrophe, Survival, Music and Renewal: New Orleans Culture Post-Katrina

In conversation with Josh Kun
Monday, June 6, 2011
Episode Summary
HBO's Treme (from the creators of The Wire) is set in the aftermath of the greatest man-made disaster in American history. Join us for a discussion of New Orleans' music and its unique culture as reflected in one of episodic television's most powerful dramas.

Participant(s) Bio
Eric Overmyer, co-creator (with David Simon) of Treme, HBO's series about post-Katrina New Orleans, was recently awarded "Ambassador of New Orleans Music Award" at the 2011 Big Easy Music Awards. Overmyer lives part-time in New Orleans and used his experience in navigating the "ornate oral tradition" of the city's stories to create Treme. He is an award-winning playwright; his most produced play, On the Verge, has been performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Overmyer was the Literary Manager of Playwrights Horizons from 1982-84, an Associate Artist of Center Stage, Baltimore from 1984-91, Visiting Associate Professor of Playwriting, Yale School of Drama, 1991-2004, Associate Artist Yale Repertory Theatre, 1991-92, and Mentor, Mark Taper Forum Playwriting Workshop, 1992. He is the recipient of many grants and fellowships for his playwriting, including NEA and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has written and produced extensively for film and television (St. Elsewhere, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Homicide, Gideon's Crossing, Law & Order, Close To Home, The Wire, Treme) and is the author of a play for radio, Kafka's Radio, produced by WNYC

Josh Kun is a professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California where he also directs The Popular Music Project of The Norman Lear Center. His research focuses on the arts and politics of cultural connection, with an emphasis on popular music, the cultures of globalization, the US-Mexico border, and Jewish-American musical history. He is the author of Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America (winner of a 2006 American Book Award), co-author of And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past As Told By The Records We've Loved and Lost, and co-editor of the Duke University Press book series Refiguring American Music. In spring 2012, he will co-curate the exhibition Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles 1945-1975 at The Grammy Museum, as part of The Getty's Pacific Standard Time.