The SHA 2018 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology Committee invites you to New Orleans, Louisiana to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Crescent City. The 2018 SHA Conference will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, located on Canal Street at the edge of the historic French Quarter. The hotel is within walking distance of premier attractions and historic sites, including Jackson Square, the Cabildo, the U.S. Mint, Preservation Hall, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and the French Market. Come and immerse yourself in all that New Orleans has to offer, from our diverse music scene to our world-famous cuisine and exciting nightlife. Take a stroll down Frenchman Street, enjoy beignets and coffee at Café Du Monde, and view the striking architecture of the historic Vieux Carré. Arrive before the conference begins to ring in the new year and kick off the city’s Tricentennial celebration. And be sure to stay through the weekend to enjoy the first parades of the 2018 Mardi Gras season!
For 300 years, many have described New Orleans in numerous ways, often synonymous with history and culture. Under rule of the French, then Spanish colonial governments, New Orleans grew to become an important port in the Atlantic World. Situated near where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, Thomas Jefferson recognized the importance of the city’s geographical location, which was a catalyst for his agreeing to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. During the 19th century, New Orleans quickly became one of the largest cities in the United States. In this bustling port city, merchants and smugglers exchanged commodities from the interior of North American and around the globe. As the primary immigration port in the American South, river and ocean currents also carried people, ideas, and even disease through this expanding and changing cosmopolitan center. From a myriad of African, Caribbean, American, European, Asian, and Native traditions and influences, unique expressions of New Orleans and Louisiana culture emerged in the kitchens and on the streets as residents constructed a variety of distinctive cultural landscapes. In the early 20th century New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz music, now beloved around the world. From the Battle of New Orleans, through the American Civil War, and during World War II, New Orleans has played an essential role in these global conflicts.
New Orleans’ historical role and culture inspired our theme—Landscapes, Entrepôts, and Global Currents. We encourage explorations of the theme beyond New Orleans and the American South. Our broad theme should inspire the membership to consider topics that tie with the theme in imaginative ways: from how our discipline perceives and interprets historical (and modern) landscapes to current and global trends that affect our examination of the past.