One. “The City I Used to Come to Visit”
1 In his study of competing claims for authenticity in the New Orleans tourism
industry, Kevin Gotham deﬁnes racialization as “a range of historically changing
ways in which structures and ideas become endowed with racial meanings and
signiﬁcations” (Authentic New Orleans, 186). He traces the racialization of New
Orleans tourism to the 1920s, when it became characterized by “a set of racial
relations, segregationist ideology, and institutional tourism practices based on
racial meanings and distinctions” that were intended “to build and legitimate an
image of New Orleans as a racially exclusive destination for white tourists and
conventioneers” (84 – 85). I use the term tourism narrative to refer to the constel-
lation of language, images, and motifs repeatedly used to construct a particular
story and experience of a place for visitors. Such narratives are often crystallized
in tourist guidebooks and other promotional materials. For a history of the use
of prescriptive tourist literature to create and market certain national narratives
of identity and citizenship, to the exclusion of others, see Shaﬀer, See America
First, 169 – 220.
2 For an example of media coverage in the aftermath of the hurricane, see “Of-
ﬁcial.” The historian Anthony Stanonis makes similar observations about the
Katrina media coverage (Creating the Big Easy, 25).
3 Greenspan, Creating Colonial Williamsburg, 15.
4 For examinations of New Orleans’s construction as an image and idea in travel,
literary, and other popular accounts, see Bryan, The Myth of New Orleans in Lit-
erature; De Caro and Jordan, Louisiana Sojourns; Hearn, Inventing New Orleans;
Kennedy, Literary New Orleans; Stanonis, Creating the Big Easy, 1 – 21.
5 For a fuller discussion of these elements, see Barber, Reno’s Big Gamble, 1 – 11.
6 Starr, “Introduction: The Man Who Invented New Orleans,” xxiv.
7 Long, The Great Southern Babylon; Dawdy, Building the Devil’s Empire, 3 and 23;
De Caro and Jordan, Louisiana Sojourns, 69 – 70; Pittman, “New Orleans in the
1760s”; Stanonis, Creating the Big Easy, 18 – 19; Gotham, Authentic New Orleans,
33 – 44, 55 – 60, and 65 – 68. For a discussion of how nineteenth-century writers
employed race and gender in their constructs of New Orleans, see Bryan, The
Myth of New Orleans in Literature, 12 – 78.
8 J. Weeks, Gettysburg, 83 and 98. For more on the particular trends and develop-
ments that facilitated the rise of urban tourism at the beginning of the twentieth
century, see Cocks, Doing the Town, 5 – 7.