Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Andrew Kincaid

Committee Members

Kumkum Sangari, Jane Gallop, Arijit H Sen, John L Hall


displacement, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, landscapes, recovery, subject formation


In Landscapes of Recovery: Belonging and Place in Post-Katrina Literatures, I analyze narratives of physical and social change following the events of Hurricane Katrina while providing a critical reading of the representations of New Orleans’s and the Gulf Coast’s urban landscapes in works of urban planning, nonfiction literature, and activist writing. A general line of inquiry informs this project: how do narratives about the disaster landscape following Katrina make visible or invisible certain political subjects? I assert that, by telling stories about the post- and pre-disaster landscape and its urban development history, these narratives carry out the process of displacement. Through a discursive analysis and close reading of a range of texts, including recovery plans, government reports, creative nonfiction, and public art projects, I explore how the writings about New Orleans’s disaster landscapes maintain and remake social differences within the urban population that make displacement possible. Overall, in Landscapes of Recovery, I argue that it is through these narratives about the urban space affected by disaster that notions of property, community, and belonging are contested.