Faculty & Staff

Lynnell L. Thomas, PhD

Associate Professor of American Studies
College of Liberal Arts


photo of Lynnell Thomas

Areas of Expertise

African American Studies, American Literature and Culture, New Orleans Culture and History


PhD, Emory University

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Research Interests:

Cover of Desire & Disaster in New Orleans

Lynnell Thomas' research interests include New Orleans tourism, African American history and culture, and Black popular culture. A native of New Orleans, Lynnell Thomas is part of the post-Katrina diaspora, which informs her teaching and scholarship.  Her research is also concerned with the diverse backgrounds and experiences that constitute and contest American identity and values.  Her most recent scholarship has examined the distortion of African American history and culture in New Orleans’ tourism narrative, the negative impact of this narrative on policy decisions following Hurricane Katrina, and the ways that African Americans and others have attempted to resist and revise this narrative. Her first book, Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory, was published by Duke University Press in August 2014.










Selected Media Outreach:

Invited Lecturer, “Wounds that Have Not Healed: Disaster and Democracy in the Wake of Katrina,” IDEAS Boston, Boston, MA, 2012.

Guest Panelist, “What’s the Big Idea?” CityLine, WCVB TV, October 14, 2012.

Guest Panelist, CityLine, “Social Media and Its Effect on American Youth," WCVB Boston, August 14, 2011.

Featured Writer, “Tremé: Feels Like Joy and Pain,” Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture, June 1, 2011

Guest Panelist, Basic Black television series, WGBH Boston, April 22, 2011

Contributing Photographer, “Katrina + 5: An X-Code Exhibition,” Curated by Dorothy Moye, Southern Spaces, August 26, 2010

Discussant, “HBO’s Tremé,” “The Callie Crossley Show,” WGBH Boston Public Radio, April 28, 2010, View the publication

Quoted, “Slave Trade in New Orleans was a Thriving Business,” by John Pope, The Times-Picayune, April 13, 2010, View the publication

Courses Taught:

AMST G110 US Society and Culture Since 1945
AMST 206 The US in the 1960s
AMST 211 US Society and Culture 1860-1940
Honors 290 Black New Orleans
AMST/AFSTY 355L Black Popular Culture, American Studies/Africana Studies
AMST 603 Historical Sequence 1870-1940
AMST 605 Ethnicity, Race, and Nationality