Louisiana in Continuity and Change: Challenges Past and Present in the Bayou State

Keith Finley's picture
September 27, 2022 to September 28, 2022
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, African American History / Studies

During the final week of September 2022, ten scholars, along with Governor John Bel Edwards, will come together at Southeastern Louisiana University for a symposium titled Louisiana in Continuity and Change: Challenges Past and Present Confronting the Bayou State. The program promises to provide ground breaking studies of challenges common to the wider Gulf South that prove acute in Louisiana.

The project will focus on enduring challenges- ones that are seminal to understanding how the people of Louisiana behave and how they are perceived by others. The purpose is to provide an enduring guide for how such trials emerged and how they were overcome or managed in the past to offer direction for how they may best be addressed in the future. The lectures will begin at noon on September 27, 2022 and conclude at 3:30 pm on September 28. In addition to the lectures, there will be a new interpretive exhibit in the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies highlighting historical challenges confronting the Bayou State and a meet and greet reception following the governor's presentation on September 27. All aspects of the program are open to school groups and the general public. For scheduling and other information concerning the symposium contact the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at 985-549-2151 or via email:selahistory@selu.edu

September 27th

Lecture One - Noon - Torbjörn Törnqvist ("Is Louisiana's Coast Sustainable?")

Lecture Two - 1:00 PM - Craig Colten ("Small Watersheds, Big Conflicts: Managing Floods in Louisiana's Florida Parishes")

Lecture Three - 2:00 PM - Keith Finley (“Defenders of Tradition, Champions of Reform: Louisiana's Faith Communities Confront Civil Rights Change")

Lecture Four - 3:00 PM - Janet Allured ("Equality for Women in Louisiana: How Far We Have Come and How Far We Have Yet To Go")


Break - 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Lecture Five - 6:00 PM - Governor John Bel Edwards (“1896-2022: The Pardon of Homer Plessy and Its Impact on Racial Justice”)


September 28th

Lecture Six - 8:30 AM - Marcus Cox (“The Fight for Equal Rights and Social Justice in Post World War II Louisiana”)

Lecture Seven - 9:30 AM - Sam Hyde (“As Louisiana as Crawfish Pie: Endemic Violence and the Non-Unanimous Jury Verdict”)

Lecture Eight - 10:30 AM - Adam Fairclough (“An Enduring Burden: Historical Corruption in Louisiana Politics”)


Lunch Break 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Lecture Nine - 12:30 PM - Robert Mann (“Should I Stay or Should I Go: The Political and Social Implications of Louisiana’s Brain Drain”) 

Lecture Ten - 1:30 PM - Pearson Cross (“Outsizing Influence: Reshaping K-12 Education During the Jindal Administration”)

Lecture Eleven - 2:30 PM - John Lopez (“Louisiana’s Coastal Crisis and the Strengths and Weaknesses of Integrated Planning for Restoration and Community Resiliency”)


3:30 PM Symposium Closes

Contact Info: 

Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies at 985-549-2151 

Contact Email: