Forthcoming graphic novel about Lulu White, an “infamous New Orleans madam,” subject of Fall Grimke Lecture in African and African American Studies

October 5, 2016

Thursday, Oct. 6 from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Carleton College Gould Library Athenaeum, collaborators Stephanie Cox and Nathalie Rech will present and discuss a draft copy of their forthcoming graphic novel about Lulu White, an infamous New Orleans madam. Cox and Rech have been on the trails of Lulu White, a “madam” whose brothel gained an international reputation at the turn of the Twentieth century. Their graphic novel retraces her life and depicts the gender and racial politics of Storyville, the red-light district that existed in New Orleans from 1897 to 1917.

Lulu White, herself a biracial woman born in Alabama, employed so-called “Octoroons” and sold “sex across the color line” to wealthy white men. Historians attribute her success to the fantasy she was marketing. This coincides with the period when segregation laws were first adopted and put into place. For instance, Louisiana forbade interracial marriage in 1894, and “concubinage” in 1908 and even social mixing.

The presentation will include a preview of drawings from their book, as well as visual documentation found in several New Orleans archives, such as newspaper clippings, caricatures, and photos.

Stephanie Cox has been at Carleton since 2007 and teaches in the French and Francophone Studies Department and the Cross-Cultural Studies Department. She studied in Quebec and Louisiana and taught about marginality in French-speaking North America. She has published about cross-cultural writers in Canada, France and Indian Ocean. In 2013, she came out of the closet as an illustrator and her research projects involve her illustrations and collaboration with co-authors.

Nathalie Rech lives in Montreal, Canada. She works as a community organizer for an advocacy group in a multicultural neighborhood on the issues of poverty and social justice. Her interests in feminism and history inspires her research and desire to write about women who have often been forgotten in history.  

This event is sponsored by the Department of African and African American Studies with support from the Grimke Lecture Fund. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4192. The Carleton College Gould Library is located off College Street on the Carleton campus, and is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield