2015-2016 FYE Common Experience Theme

Community Resilience

The theme for the 2015-2016 FYE Common Experience Program is inspired by the film, Bury the Hatchet, a documentary that tells the story of the Mardi Gras Indians.

As we begin the academic year surrounded by commemorative events related to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures 10 years ago, we will launch a cross-disciplinary conversation about the relationship between a participation in the cultural events of a community and the collective resilience of the people who belong to that community. "Resilience" is the ability to recover from catastrophic events or stressful circumstances. The common film depicts the resilience of the Mardi Gras Indian community not ony from the hurricane and resulting flood but also its resilience to longstanding racism and discrimination. The story of the resilience of the Mardi Gras Indians begins the campus-wide intellectual conversation about resilience, community, and culture that will take place over the academic year. For an excellent description of the Mardi Gras Indians, read Robert N. Brown's Don't Bow Down on that Dirty Ground article. See the library's FYE Common Experience Research Guide for resource material about community resilience in general, the Mardi Gras Indians, and the film.