Call For Papers: Education in New Orleans: A Decade after Hurrican Katrina

Education in New Orleans: A Decade after Hurricane Katrina 


Prudence Browne and Cedric Johnson
University of Illinois at Chicago

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on the greater Gulf Coast and nation. While many aspects of daily life and community infrastructure  were affected by the storm, the public education system in New Orleans was subject to historic changes. The takeover of New Orleans majority-black public schools by the state-run Recovery School District, firing of 7,500 veteran teachers and public school employees (mostly African American), and transformation of New Orleans into the nation’s first all-charter school district have been hailed by many as the remedy for a previously failing school district. Others contend such reform has been a profoundly destructive experiment on black school children. At this critical juncture, what does the evidence show? New Orleans style reform has been marketed as a model for other urban school districts throughout the United States. In light of this, the debate over public education in New Orleans is the epicenter of struggles for black rights in the 21st century.

For this special issue, we seek contributions rooted in the robust history and culture of New Orleans’ African American community and ongoing struggles for equitable public schools, culturally relevant teaching, and self-determination. More specifically, we seek critical analyses of the effects of current reforms in New Orleans and their implications for black education throughout the Diaspora. While education is the central theme for this special issue, we also invite a critical and expanded look at issues that may intersect, including but not limited to health, housing, labor, poverty, incarceration, art, and the history of race, gender, and political organizing and activism. Contributions that draw connections between local, state, national, and global policy are welcome as well as those that draw connections to education reform in sister cities and nations, such as Haiti.

This issue will feature contributions by Kristen L. Buras and David Stovall.


Please submit a 1-2 page abstract by March 1, 2015. For accepted articles, full and complete articles will have a submission deadline of June 1, 2015.

For general questions please contact



SOULS only accepts unsolicited manuscripts by electronic submission. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by members of our Editorial Working Group (EWG) and our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), as well as other affiliated scholars.

All submissions must include a cover letter that includes the author’s full mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers, and professional, organizational or academic affiliation. The cover letter should indicate that the manuscript contains original content, has not previously been published, and is not under review by another publication. Authors are responsible for securing permission to use copyrighted tables or materials from a copyrighted work in excess of 500 words. Authors must contact original authors or copyright holders to request the use of such material in their articles. Authors must also submit a three to five sentence bio, an abstract of their article of not more than 100 words, and a brief list of key words or significant concepts in the article.

To submit to this special issue:


DCP: In the pattern of the critical black intellectual tradition of W.E.B. DuBois, Souls articles should include the elements of “description,” “correction,” and/or “prescription”: thickly, richly detailed descriptions of contemporary black life and culture; corrective and analytical engagements with theories and concepts that reproduce racial inequality in all of its forms; and/or an analysis that presents clear alternatives or possibilities for social change.

Originality: Articles should make an original contribution to the literature. We do not consider manuscripts that are under review elsewhere.


Length: Articles published in Souls generally are a minimum of 2,500 words in length, but not longer than 8,500 words, excluding endnotes and scholarly references.

CMS and Clarity: All articles should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. Scholarly references and citations usually should not be embedded in the text of the article, but arranged as endnotes in CMS form. Souls favors clearly written articles free of excessive academic jargon and readily accessible to a broad audience.

CriticalSouls aspires to produce scholarship representing a critical black studies – analytical and theoretical works in the living tradition of scholar/activist W.E.B. Du Bois. Souls is an intellectual intervention that seeks to inform and transform black life and history.

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