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Students present work uncovering lesser-known stories of longshoremen

March 1, 2013

Loyola University New Orleans history students are bringing to light the lesser-known history of the Gulf region through their documentary efforts with the men who work the ports—the longshoremen. The Loyola students and assistant professor of history Justin Nystrom, Ph.D., will present that work highlighted in a new documentary video at the Southern Labor Studies Association annual meeting March 7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown New Orleans.

Loyola juniors and seniors partnered with the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 3000 in New Orleans to document the stories of dock workers who loaded and unloaded cargoes along the city’s waterfront in the days before automation and shipping containers. Amelie Karam, Caitlin Webster, Kyleah Frederic, Eric Buras and Sheila Tahir will present at the conference.

The project makes for an anything-but-average college class: Students don’t simply write term papers; they interview people on camera who lived through and experienced historical events, uncovering living histories that document the rich heritage of the Crescent City. Their documentaries and other works contribute to the new Loyola Documentary and Oral History Studio, spearheaded by Nystrom. The new studio teaches students the combined skills of advanced filmmaking techniques and oral history methods.

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