Conference Program

Saint-Louis, Senegal and New Orleans:
Two Mirror Cities, 17th-21st Century
Saint-Louis du Sénégal et La Nouvelle-Orléans:
Deux villes en miroir, XVIIe-XXIe siècle

Provisional Conference Program
New Orleans, April 22-25, 2013



Monday, April 22, 2013
Tulane University, Freeman Auditorium

6:00 pm 7:30 pm: Official Conference Opening

Master of Ceremonies:
Dr. Emily Clark, Clement Chambers Benenson Professor of American Colonial History and Associate Professor, Tulane University

Spoken Word Performance:
Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes

Welcoming Remarks:
Dr. Ana Lopez, Associate Provost of Tulane University
Hon. Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Councilmember-At-Large, City of New Orleans
Hon. Jean-Claude Brunet, Consul General of France in New Orleans Representative of Senegal
Dr. Joel Dinerstein, Director of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Tulane University

Musical Performance:
Njum Waalo Band featuring Demma Dia

Program Notes:
Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes is a mother, wife, daughter, educator, event producer, spoken word artist, and community servant. Rooted in the cultural soil of New Orleans and watered by the writings of her literary idols, Asali has presented her brand of “activist poetry” on stages and in classrooms across the country, and is a highly sought speaker on community development issues. In addition to authoring the Essence Empowerment Seminars, she coordinates the Congo Square African Marketplace, and has taught spoken word, social justice, and service learning at Tulane University. Her examination of post-Katrina roles in transforming the lives of women in the Gulf Coast is included in Swimming Upstream, the play she co-authored with a distinguished group of NOLA writers. She is currently at work on, To Each His Own, a collection of short stories exploring life and culture in Faubourg Tremé. The Njum Waalo Band, led by master xalam player Demma Dia is a traditional five-member xalam group consisting of xalam players and a griot (praise singer). The xalam is believed to be one of the principal ancestors of the American banjo. Many Americans have become familiar with the xalam through Baaba Maal, a Senegalese musician who has toured widely in the United States and Europe and who incorporates xalam players in his popular fusion music. Demma Dia has served as the principal xalam player for many of Baaba Maal’s tours. His own group, the Njum Waalo Band, preserves the traditional style of xalam music and praise singing, which is rarely heard outside of the interior villages of the Senegal River Valley. Demma Dia and his brothers and cousins, Baidy Dia, Bocar Dia, Lilèye Dia and Mamadou Dia (aka Yéro Dia), were all born and continue to make their home in the village of Njum Waalo in the Senegal Valley. They speak and perform in the Poulaar language.

7:30 – 8:00 pm: Reception following in Woodward Way


Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Tulane University, Anna E. Maney Lounge, Newcomb Center for Research on Women


9:30 am – 10:00 am: Introduction of Research Framework by Emily Clark, Tulane University, Ibrahima Thioub, Cheikh Anta Diop University, and Cécile Vidal, EHESS, Mondes Américains

10:00 am – 11:00 am: Slavery in the Urban Milieu / Histoire relationnelle de l’esclavage en milieu urbain:

How does considering urban slavery in terms of personal interactions allow us to rethink and compare the slave systems of port cities on both sides of the Atlantic?

Comment le fait d’envisager l’esclavage urbain sous l’angle des interactions personnelles permet-il de repenser et de comparer les systèmes esclavagistes des cités portuaires de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique?

Chair:  Randy Sparks, Professor of History, Tulane University

* Cécile Vidal, EHESS, Mondes Américains: "The Streets, the Barracks and the Hospital: Public Space, Social Control and Cross-Racial Interactions among Soldiers and Slaves in French New Orleans/La rue, les casernes et l’hôpital: Espace public, contrôle social et rencontres interraciales entre soldats et esclaves à La Nouvelle-Orléans sous le Régime français.”

* Martin A. Klein, University of Toronto: "The Role of Slavery in the Economic and Social History of Saint-Louis of Senegal/Le rôle de l’esclavage dans l’histoire économique et sociale de Saint-Louis du Sénégal.”

11:00 am – 11:30 am: Break


11:30 am – 12:30 pm: From One Urban World to Another: Passing Through the Mirror / D’un monde urbain à l’autre : la traversée du miroir:

How did individuals traveling between Saint-Louis and New Orleans negotiate their way between the two urban worlds that were connected and inserted into the same     imperial formation, but were driven by different dynamics and social tensions?

Comment les individus qui circulent entre Saint-Louis et La Nouvelle-Orléans négocient-ils leur passage entre deux mondes urbains qui sont connectés et insérés dans la même formation impériale, mais qui sont animés par des dynamiques et des tensions sociales différentes?

Chair:  Thomas Klingler, Associate Professor of French, Tulane University

* Jessica Marie Johnson, University of Maryland: "The Atlantic World of Marie Baude, la femme Pinet /Femmes, soldats et esclaves: Le monde atlantique de Marie Baude, la femme Pinet.”

* Jean Hebrard, EHESS and University of Michigan, and Ibrahima Thioub University Cheikh Anta Diop: "The Dernevilles: A Mixed Transatlantic Family between New Orleans and Saint-Louis, Senegal/Les Derneville: Une famille mixte transatlantique entre La Nouvelle-Orléans et Saint-Louis du Sénégal.” (tentative title)

12:30 pm – 2:00: Lunch



2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Port Cities, Sovereignty and Territorial Expansion / Villes portuaires, souveraineté et expansion territoriale:

How are port cities shaped by their location at the junction of different spaces of power and sovereignty? How does territorial expansion change the colonial situation within the city?

Comment les villes portuaires sont-elles façonnées par leur localisation à la jonction de différents espaces de pouvoir et de souveraineté ? Comment l’expansion territoriale transforme-t-elle la situation coloniale dans la ville-même?

Chair:  Laura Rosanne Adderley, Associate Professor of History, Tulane University

* Alexandre Dubé, McMaster University: “Pontiac in Senegal. Spaces of Diplomatic Spectacle in the Atlantic World, 1764-1768/Pontiac au Sénégal. Lieux du spectacle diplomatique dans le monde atlantique, 1764-1768.”

* Ibra Sene, College of Wooster: "Saint-Louis: On French Expansion, Social Control, and the Early Developments of the Penitentiary Institution in Senegal, 1834 - ca. 1895/Saint-Louis: Expansion française, contrôle social et évolution de l’institution pénitentiaire au Sénégal, 1834 - ca. 1895.” 


3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: The City as a Major Element in Policies of Social Control / La ville comme enjeu majeur des politiques de contrôle social:

How did public authorities seek to regulate, control, monitor and punish subaltern urban populations?  What political difficulties and limitations did they encounter?

Comment la puissance publique cherche-t-elle à encadrer, contrôler, surveiller et punir les populations subalternes en milieu urbain ? À quelles difficultés et limites ces politiques se heurtent-elles?

Chair:  Jana Lipman, Associate Professor of History, Tulane University

* Jean-Pierre Glaunec, Université de Sherbrooke: "Ce nègre a fait une résistance extraordinaire contre la garde'. Day-to-Day Resistance to Slavery in New Orleans as Seen Through Police Archives, 1817-1833/'Ce nègre a fait une résistance extraordinaire contre la garde': la culture de résistance quotidienne des esclaves de La Nouvelle-Orléans, 1817-1833, vue” 

* Sara Le Menestrel, CNRS, Mondes Américains:  "Delimiting Public Space. Live Music, Noise, and the Law in New Orleans. Délimiter l'espace public/La musique live, le bruit et la loi à La Nouvelle-Orléans.”



Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tulane University, Anna E. Maney Lounge, Newcomb Center for Research on Women



9:30 am – 11:00 am: City and Citizenship / Ville et citoyenneté:

What role does the city play in the definition of citizenship which lies at the heart of the process of constructing nation and empire?  How have certain major historical events led to the renegotiation of the status and ties of allegiance of individuals in the city?

Quel rôle joue la ville dans la définition de la citoyenneté au cœur des processus de constructions nationales et impériales?  Comment certains grands événements historiques conduisent-ils à la renégociation des statuts et des liens d’allégeance des individus en ville?

Chair:  Justin Wolfe, Associate Professor of History, Tulane University

* Marieke Polfliet, University of Nice / EHESS: “Citizenship and Abolition of Slavery after 1848: Frenchmen in Antebellum New Orleans in the Heart of Conflicts over National Allegiances/Citoyenneté et abolition de l’esclavage après 1848 : les Français de La Nouvelle-Orléans au cœur des conflits d’allégeances nationales.”

* Rebecca Scott, University of Michigan: "Refusing Stigma and Asserting Citizenship: New Orleans Activists Interpret 1803 and 1848/Lutter contre les stigmatisations et réclamer la citoyenneté. Les activistes de la Nouvelle Orléans interprètent 1803 et 1848."

* Larissa Kopytoff, New York University: “Navigating the Boundaries of Citizenship in Early Twentieth Century Senegal/Négocier les frontières de la citoyenneté dans le Sénégal du début du XXe siècle.”

11:00 am – 11:30 am: Break


11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Cities of Stone and Water / Des villes de pierre et d’eau:

What images of the city plan and promote projects of conservation or urban development? What role does the river play in the construction of images of the city?

Quelles images de la ville promeuvent et projettent les projets de conservation ou d’aménagement urbain ? Quel rôle le fleuve joue-t-il dans la construction des images de la ville?

Chair:  Connie Atkinson, Associate Director of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies and Associate Professor of History, University of New Orleans

* Richard Campanella, Tulane University School of Architecture: “Fluidity, Rigidity, and Consequence: A Comparative Historical Geography of the Mississippi and Sénégal River Deltas and the Deltaic Cities of New Orleans and Saint-Louis/Fluidité, rigidité et conséquences: Géographie historique comparée des deltas des fleuves Mississippi et Sénégal et des villes deltaïques de La Nouvelle-Orléans et de Saint-Louis.” 

* Clément Verfaillie, Université de Paris VII: "Caty Miller (1760-1834), A Signare in the City/Caty Miller (1760-1834), une Signare dans la ville."

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch



2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: The Politics of Identity in the City / Les politiques de l’identité en ville:

How have Orientalism and Afrocentrism been used on the one hand to subordinate and on the other to empower in the city? How does the city facilitate survival and the capacity to invent and reinvent identities?

Comment la ville a-t-elle été un lieu privilégié de l’orientalisme et de l’afrocentrisme à des fins de domination ou au contraire d’émancipation et d’affirmation de soi?    Comment la ville permet-elle aux acteurs d’exister, de s’inventer et de se réinventer des identités?

Chair: Adeline Masquelier, Tulane University

* Emily Clark, Tulane University, and Hilary Jones, University of Maryland: "Transatlantic Currents of Orientalism: New Orleans Quadrooons and Saint-Louis, Senegal Signares/Les courants transatlantiques de l’orientalisme: Les quarteronnes de La Nouvelle-Orléans et les signares de Saint-Louis du Sénégal.”

 * Bruce Raeburn, Tulane University:  "Reflections of Senegal in New Orleans Jazz/Reflets du Sénégal dans le jazz de La Nouvelle-Orléans.”

* Abderahmane Ngaïdé, University Cheikh Anta Diop: “The Haratins from Mauritania in Saint-Louis and its Surroundings: Mobility and Identity Transformations/“Saint-Louis et ses environs comme espaces de ‘dilution’ identitaire des Haratins de Mauritanie?”  

* Ibrahima Seck, University Cheikh Anta Diop:   “From Jolibaa to Mississippi: The Long Journey of the Komo People/Du Jolibaa au Mississippi: Le long voyage des gens du Komo.”  



Thursday, April 25, 2013
Morning: Tulane University, Anna E. Maney Lounge, Newcomb Center for Research on Women



9:00 am – 11:00 am: Graduate Student Workshop
Chair:  Elisabeth McMahon, Assistant Professor of History, Tulane University

* Ginger Cline, University of Michigan: "Urban Development in Saint-Louis, Senegal from Caulier to Faidherbe/Le développement urbain à Saint-Louis du Sénégal de Caulier à Faidherbe.”

* Mame Coumba Genviève Diémé, University Cheikh Anta Diop: "Church and State in Saint-Louis, 1659-1903/Eglise et Etat à Saint-Louis, 1659-1903.” 

* Thiongane Omar Sarr, Cheikh Anta Diop University:   “The Dismissal of Governor Lasserre at Saint-Louis, Senegal (July 23-24, 1802): Interpretation and Impact of an Historical Event/La destitution du Gouverneur Lasserre à Saint-Louis du Sénégal (23-24 juillet 1802): Signification et portée d’un événement historique.”

* Henriette Yague, University Cheikh Anta Diop:   " The Church and the 1848 Abolition of Slavery in Saint-Louis, Senegal: Humanitarian Missions or Evangelization?/ L’Église et l’abolition de l’esclavage de 1848 à Saint-Louis du Sénégal: missions humanitaires ou évangélisation?”

11:00 am – 11:30 am: Break


11:30 am – 12:30 am: Conclusions

Chair: Lawrence Powell, Professor Emeritus of History, Tulane University

* Sylvia Frey, Professor Emerita of History, Tulane University,

* Ibrahima Thioub, Professor of History, University Cheikh Anta Diop

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch and transportation to Historic New Orleans Collection

Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection
410 Chartres Street

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Conference Introduction
Emily Clark, Tulane University
Ibrahima Thioub, University Cheikh Anta Diop
Cécile Vidal, EHESS, Mondes Américains

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Musical Traditions of Senegal and Louisiana

Chair: Joel Dinerstein, Director, New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization, Tulane University

* Introduction: Matt Sakakeeney, Assistant Professor of Music, Tulane University, and Ibrahima Seck, University Cheikh Anta Diop

* Interviews of Demma Dia, xalam player, Don Vappie, banjo player, and Cherisse Harrison Nelson, founder of the Guardians of the Flame Maroon Society, by Valerie Nivelon RFI, Matt Sakakeeney, Tulane University, and Ibrahima Seck, University Cheikh Anta Diop

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Break

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: Final Plenary Session

Chair:   Sylvia Frey, Professor Emerita, Tulane University

Ibrahima Thioub, Professor of History, University Cheikh Anta Diop:  “Saint-Louis, Senegal and New Orleans: Connected Histories and Distinct Legacies of Two Cities of the French Atlantic World"/Saint-Louis et La Nouvelle-Orléans: histoires connectées et héritages distincts de deux cités du monde atlantique français.”

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm:  Free Public Concert, Williams Research Center of The Historic New Orleans Collection Courtyard

Njum Waalo Band and Don Vappie


For more information, please contact/pour tout renseignement, merci de contacter:,,


Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225,