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Honors Outside of the Classroom: Life and Death in New Orleans Society

Publication date

November 09, 2017 3:45 PM


Charlotte Maheu Vail

A diagram of different healing remedies.

Students in this Society took a trip to the Pharmacy Museum.


New Orleans and Tulane-focused subject matter, especially related to health, is fascinating for many Tulane students. The Life and Death in New Orleans Wall Society provides a rich opportunity for first-year Honors students and a faculty member to explore health-related sites in and around the New Orleans area. It is in this setting where they can engage in discussions about health in New Orleans from a medical, public health, and historical perspective.  Dr. Emily Harville, Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Wall Fellow, framed this Society with the following questions: How have medicine and public health affected New Orleans?  How has disease affected the city’s history? Through the field trips to the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, the Carville Leper Colony, the Tulane Medical School and its embryology museum, Lafayette Cemetery, and Touro Infirmary and archives, students can begin to answer the questions posed and have a space to ask new ones. Honors students also benefit from on campus meetings featuring medical students who talk about their medical school experiences, as well as faculty and graduate students who discuss current medical and public health research. Movie viewing, including the documentary, Big Charity, and the film, Jezebel, also plays a role in fostering the discussion about healthcare and public health issues in New Orleans. The Life and Death in New Orleans Wall Society provides first-year Honors students with a well-rounded and nuanced view of medical and health issues in New Orleans that they can take back to the classroom, to their residential community, and consider as they walk around the city. As the Wall Societies are meant to foster scholarly engagement in Wall Residential College and connect Honors students to faculty, this Society certainly affords students a range of opportunities from which to do just that.