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Jesuit Summer Institute features Richard Campanella and Lance Hill

May 29, 2009

This weekend, Loyola University New Orleans will host the first Jesuit Summer Institute for Advanced Study, a collaborative effort of the honors programs at Jesuit colleges and universities from across the United States. Over two weeks, 28 visiting fellows will participate in a wide array of seminars, meet experts and activists, and explore post-Katrina New Orleans. Among the featured experts are Tulane University professors Richard Campanellaand Lance Hill, Ph.D.

Campanella is the associate director of Tulane’s Center for Bioenvironmental Research and the assistant research professor with its Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Campanella is an expert on the historical geography of New Orleans, including city planning, neighborhoods and demographic settlement patterns. He will present “Bienville’s Delimma: The Historical Geography of New Orleans, 1718 – Present” on Monday, June 1, at 7 p.m., in Nunemaker Auditorium, located in Loyola’s Monroe Hall.

Hill, executive director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane, is an expert in the field of history and southern race relations and was one of the activists in the campaign against David Duke for governor and senator. On Monday, June 8, at 7 p.m., in Nunemaker Auditorium, Hill will give a lecture, “Wind, Water, and Race: Ethnic Group Relations in the Aftermath of Katrina.” Hill’s work with the institute has focused on collective trauma and racial healing and reconciliation work in New Orleans and displaced communities since Katrina.

The lectures are free and open to the public.

Led by Loyola’s John Biguenet, acclaimed author and professor of English, and John Clark, award-winning professor of philosophy, this inaugural session of the Jesuit Summer Institute will focus on New Orleans’ distinctive culture and its long history of crisis and calamity through the lenses of history, philosophy, ecology, music, literature, art and cuisine. The institute aims to provide selected fellows with an opportunity for academic and cultural exploration in a setting that fosters continuing dialogue grounded in the mission of Ignatian education.

Nora Benedict, a visiting fellow from Loyola College in Maryland, says she became interested in the institute because it embraces the Jesuit mission of educating the mind, body and spirit.

“Since I have participated in outreach programs in the past over my spring breaks, the service learning opportunities will be particularly fulfilling for me,” Benedict said. “Ultimately, I hope to gain an intimate relationship with the city of New Orleans and further expound upon my critical thinking skills by examining this area through an array of diverse lenses.”

According to John Sebastian, assistant professor of medieval literature and deputy director of Loyola’s Honors Program, the institute serves as an immersion program where students can completely surround themselves in the history and culture of a unique locale.

Program fellows are selected by a competitive application process. Undergraduates of any major from the 28 schools within the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities are welcome to apply.

For more information, contact Patrick Armstrong in Loyola’s Honors Program, at honors@loyno.edu or call 504-865-2708.

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