CFP: Roundtable discussion of Spike Lee's "When the Levee's Broke" (9/10/06; Film & History, 11/8/06-11/12/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Kenneth S Nolley
contact email: 

Call for Panelists: Spike Lee's Requiem for New Orleans: A
Message-Driven Protest Documentary Rountable
Moderators: Jim Welsh, Salisbury University emeritus
             Ken Nolley, Willamette University

Abstracts/proposals due by SEPTEMBER 10

2006 Film and History League Conference
"The Documentary Tradition"
November 8-12, 2006
Dolce Conference Center
Dallas, Texas

"Katrina's Damage Lingers for Bush," read the above-the-fold Washington
Post headline for August 26, 2006, nearly a year after New Orleans was all
but destroyed in 2005. Then came Spike Lee's moving 4-hour HBO
documentary, "When the Levees Broke." Lee's "Requiem," suggesting an
African-American response to compassionate conservatism, was, arguably,
the most controversial documentary since Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit
9/11," and was Lee's most important venture into documentary filmmaking
since "4 Little Girls (1997).

Politically the film was dynamite, but its HBO premiere went largely
unnoticed and unheralded by the bloviating cable pundits and the more
conventional news anchors.

Why was that? Why was this serious and emotional documentary concerning
the very survivability of Creole and Cajun culture so incredibly ignored?
What distinguished Lee's documentary from earlier and later "specials"
offered up on cable and by the networks? What impact might Lee's film
have on the forthcoming midterm elections? By November 8th we should know
the answers to these question and be well prepared to discuss it.

We hope to locate a half-dozen or more good panelists, especially those
who have not yet committed to any other Film and History League panel or
presentation. If interested, please contact the moderators, Jim Welsh
( and Ken Nolley ( and
convince us with haste, urgency, and vigor, why you should be
represented on this "Roundtable." Please contact us by September 10th.

This roundtable will be part of The Film and History League's November 8-12,
2006 conference on "The Documentary Tradition" at the Dolce Conference
Center, Dallas, Texas. Full details and registration forms are on the web
site :
--Ken NolleyProfessor of EnglishWillamette UniversitySalem, OR 97301Phone: 503-370-6280Fax: 503-370-6944--Ken NolleyProfessor of EnglishWillamette UniversitySalem, OR 97301Phone: 503-370-6280Fax: 503-370-6944 ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Sat Sep 09 2006 - 10:53:02 EDT