Carole Barnette Boudreaux '65 Great Writers Series

The Carole Barnette Boudreaux ’65 Great Writers Series is a literary series supported by the Carole Barnette Boudreaux ’65 Creative Writer Endowed Fund, which was established in 2018 by a generous donation to the School of Liberal Arts by Tulane alumni Carole B. and Kenneth J. Boudreaux. Carole Barnette Boudreaux received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Newcomb College in 1965 and earned a Master of Education degree from the University of New Orleans in 1973.

The Great Writers Series brings internationally prominent writers to campus for readings, lectures, events and panels. The inaugural event, delayed two years due to the pandemic, welcomed 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen to Tulane as its first speaker in November 2021.

“When Carole and Ken Boudreaux endowed this series, their vision was to help bring internationally famous creative writers to our campus, where they could interact with students and members of the Tulane and greater New Orleans community.”

Dean Brian Edwards  

Past Events

Jennifer Egan at Tulane University

Jennifer Egan 

Public Lecture: Focused on The Candy House  
Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 6pm | Book Signing & Reception to Follow  
Lake Theatre (Lake Residence Hall)

  • "The Sausage Factory: Making Fiction Out of Daydreams, Hunches, and Domestic Duties" In this literary lecture, Jennifer Egan will talk about her writing process, using PowerPoint slides, delving most deeply into "Lulu the Spy," a chapter in The Candy House Beach that was published on Twitter and inspired by a version of The Three Pigs that she read to her children.
  • Followed by a discussion with Tulane Professor of English and novelist Zachary Lazar

Faculty Discussion: Focused on The Candy House  
Thursday, November 16, 2023, 12p | Lunch Provided with RSVP  
Stibbs #203 (LBC)

  • Creativity and Artificial Intelligence: A Discussion with Jennifer Egan and Tulane Professors Nicholas Mattei (SSE) and Vicki Mayer (SLA) — In her most recent novel The Candy House, Jennifer Egan has opened up the conversation about artificial intelligence in provocative ways. Tulane computer scientist Nicholas Mattei and Tulane professor of communication Vicki Mayer study and write about technology and society. Join us as for an interdisciplinary conversation probing Egan’s work and what it tells us about the rapidly changing present. Open to Tulane faculty in relevant scholarship. RSVP to

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection.  Her 2017 novel, Manhattan Beach, a New York Times bestseller, was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was chosen as New York City’s One Book One New York read.  Her previous novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was recently named one of the best books of the decade by Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly.  Her new novel, The Candy House, a companion to A Visit From the Goon Squad, was named one of the New York Times’s 10 Best Books of 2022 and one of President Obama’s favorite reads of the year. She recently completed a term as President of PEN America and is currently Artist-in-Residence in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania.  Also a journalist, her year-long reporting on street homelessness and supportive housing in New York City was published in The New Yorker in September, 2023.


Amitav Ghosh at Tulane University

Amitav Ghosh

Public Lecture: Focused on The Nutmeg’s Curse  
Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 6pm  
Kendall Cram Lecture Hall (LBC)

Amitav Ghosh is an internationally recognized Indian writer who uses complex narrative strategies to probe the nature of national and personal identity, particularly of the people of India and South Asia. He has authored several award-winning books, including The Circle of Reason and The Hungry Tide. In 2021 he published The Nutmeg's Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis, which discusses colonialism and environmental issues with particular focus on the Banda Islands. It was his second non-fiction book to discuss climate change, after The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. In 2019, Foreign Policy magazine named him one of the most important global thinkers of the preceding decade.

Ghosh’s work been translated into more than thirty languages, and he has served on the juries of the Venice and Locarno film festivals. His essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic and The New York Times. The Great Derangement was given the inaugural Utah Award for the Environmental Humanities in 2018. He holds two Lifetime Achievement awards and four honorary doctorates. In 2018, he became the first English-language writer to receive the Jnanpith Award—India’s highest literary honor.

Additional Talk: “The Great Uprooting: Migration and Movement in the Age of Climate Change”  
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 5pm  
Kendall Cram Lecture Hall (LBC)  
Read about the event on WaveSync

Abstract: It has long been predicted that climate change will lead to large-scale displacements of population and mass migration. Is it possible to look at the European ‘migrant crisis’ of recent years through this prism? This, and many other related questions, prompted me to travel to migrant camps in Italy in 2017, to interview migrants whose languages I am familiar with: that is to say speakers of Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. This talk is an attempt to identify some of the underlying patterns in the stories I was told by the migrants, in their own languages.  
*After Ghosh's presentation, responses will be delivered by 2 Tulane faculty members: Amalia Leguizamón and Jesse Keenan.

Viet Thanh Nguyen at Tulane University

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6pm  
Kendall Cram Lecture Hall (LBC)

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen, inaugural speaker of the Carole Barnette Boudreaux ’65 Great Writers Series, is the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel The Sympathizer. He is a University Professor, Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He is a MacArthur Fellow (2018-2022), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017-2018. He has also been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (2011-2012), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard (2008-2009) and the Fine Arts Work Center (2004-2005). He has received residencies, fellowships, scholarships and grants from the Luce Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, the James Irvine Foundation, the Huntington Library, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation. Nguyen’s second novel, The Committed, was published in 2021 as a sequel to The Sympathizer. HBO is turning The Sympathizer into a TV series for 2023, directed by Park Chan-wook.


Washington Times | December 2018 | January 2019

Viet Thanh Nguyen  
Tulanian Magazine | March 2019  
Viet Nguyen | November 2021