The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University (NOCGS) is an interdisciplinary, place-based institute that promotes the understanding of New Orleans and the Gulf South region. We offer research fellowships, curate educational experiences, and create new publications that relate the local to the global. All of our programming is based on the belief that the more we understand where we are, the more fully we can engage in our democracy and collective destiny. NOCGS is housed within Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts in New Orleans, a coastal city rich in natural resources, creative expression, and complex social, political, ecological, and spiritual relationships.
- Face truths of our times, spark wonder, and rejuvenate.
- Explore questions by convening multiple perspectives and knowledge sources.
- Study place to make informed decisions.
- Provide just compensation and share resources.
The precursor to NOCGS was the Deep South Regional Humanities Center, established in 2001 with a competitive grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission was to engage the humanities in the study of the region, focusing on Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Following Hurricane Katrina, the center closed. There was, however, a newly perceived value of the study of this place and its cultural stature in the face of its vulnerability to climate change. Faculty throughout Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts continued to research and teach about the region, and Tulane’s leadership began prioritizing service-learning courses as a mode of connecting with the greater New Orleans and Gulf South community.
In 2011, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South opened with a revised scope including the Gulf South, defined as the coastal bioregion from Texas to Florida, and from humanities to the liberal arts—across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In 2019, NOCGS partnered with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, to create the Anthropocene River Campus, which sparked programming relating to the concepts of the ‘anthropocene’ and the ‘plantationocene’. Today, NOCGS has shifted its focus to the cultural and planetary conditions of the Gulf region as it relates to the world.