Award-winning author, Tulane University professor and MacArthur Fellow Jesmyn Ward will deliver the address at the 2017 University of Michigan Winter Commencement.
Currently, Hubbard is an adjunct lecturer in the Africana Studies program at Tulane University where she’s teaching a course titled Afro-Futurism: Science Fiction and Surrealism in African-American Literature & Culture.
Cantrell, who grew up in Los Angeles, also became the first non-native to be elected mayor in New Orleans in recent history -- and perhaps since the city's inception, according to Brian Brox, a political science professor at Tulane University.
Joel Dinerstein is the author of several works on the history of cool, including The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (University of Chicago, May 2017), American Cool (2014) and a brand narrative of Coach: A Study of New York Cool (Rizzoli 2016). He was the co-curator of American Cool (2014), an acclaimed photography and cultural history exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery based on his own research.
Nick Spitzer is a folklorist recognized for his work with community-based cultures of the Gulf South, cultural creolization, American traditional music, documentary arts and public policy. He is the producer of public radio’s American Routes, a two-hour program devoted to vernacular music and cultures, heard on over 300 stations by up to a million weekly listeners, now in its 20th year. Spitzer is a professor of anthropology at Tulane University where he has taught since 2008.
Jesmyn Ward is the 2011 National Book Award winner for her novel Salvage the Bones. A native of DeLisle, Mississippi, she received her undergraduate degree in English and a master's degree in media studies and communication from Stanford University. Publishers Weekly called her debut novel, 2009's Where the Line Bleeds, "Starkly beautiful...a fresh new voice in American fiction." Her latest work is the 2013 memoir Men We Reaped.
Mike Kucynski, the current chair of the Tulane English Department, was born and raised in a working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. He took his BA in English Literature there, at St. Joseph's University, a small liberal arts college, and his MA and PhD in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Michael Cunningham holds the academic rank of Professor at Tulane University. He has a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Psychology and the undergraduate program in Africana Studies. He serves as an Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research in Tulane University’s Office of Academic Affairs.