Johnson Joins Vaz-Deville, Ross, and Rothman at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (#NOLA)

Johnson Joins Vaz-Deville, Ross, and Rothman at the 2015 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (#NOLA)

Tennessee Williams Literary Fest 2015


Honored to join Kim Vaz-Deville (Xavier U), Michael Ross (University of Maryland), and Adam Rothman (Georgetown) at the 2015 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (@TWFestNOLA) this March.

We will be discussing “sensational New Orleans kidnapping cases.”

“When ordinary people get entangled in extraordinary acts of greed and lawlessness, the worst impulse are let loose. Historical accounts of child kidnappings that occurred in postbellum New Orleans reveal slowly evolving institutions of policing, journalism and the judiciary that uphold and enable democratic processes and multiracial co-existence responding to claims by and against people of color in ways unimaginable a short time before. At the end of the Civil War, a formerly enslaved woman, whose children had been taken to Cuba by her past owner, accused the former owner of kidnapping. Well regarded Afro-Creole women were put on trial for the kidnapping of Irish-American Mollie Digby in 1870. Panelists will discuss accounts of these kidnappings that gripped the city and how, as resistance to Reconstruction mounted and prevailed, sensational journalism, vigilante-style justice, prevailing discourses about women of color, and white supremacy forestalled nascent advances in the quest for law, order and justice.

Many thanks to Dr. Vaz for organizing the panel! If you are available, please join us:

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, 214 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA

Read more about Rose Herera in Rothman’s Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Light of Slavery (2015).

Read more about the kidnapping of Molly Digby in Ross’s The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era (2015).

For the full schedule and more on the festival: About the Festival | TWFEST.

Leave a Reply