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Hurricane Katrina Ignites Political Debate on Domestic Policies

The History Department and the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) will present an Oct. 19 panel discussion and town hall meeting to focus on the domestic policies that have come under fire in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"Katrina: Disaster and the Politics of Race and Class in America" will begin at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19 in The Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A on the Carnegie Mellon campus.

In its wake, Hurricane Katrina left death, destruction, and suffering on a scale and scope not seen in the United States since the so-called "great" disasters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its chaotic aftermath and shocking images have also ignited important political debate on domestic policies dealing with questions of race and class, individual vs. government responsibility and accountability, and the relationship between society, technology and the environment.

This panel discussion and town hall meeting will address the historical and political antecedents to this crisis and explore its consequences for the future of New Orleans, the Gulf States and America.

Panel members include:

Moderator Joe Trotter, the Mellon Professor of History, Chair of the History Department and Director of CAUSE;

Vagel Keller, visiting assistant professor, History of Technology and the Environment;

Chris T. Hendrickson, the Duquesne Light Professor of Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;

Johanna Fernandez, postdoctoral fellow, CAUSE, Department of History.

The panel discussion is co-sponsored by the departments of Economics, Modern Languages, Psychology, and Social and Decision Sciences.

For more information on CAUSE, visit

Jonathan Potts
October 10, 2005

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