The devastation that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was due to more than Mother Nature, says Cedric Johnson, associate professor of African American studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In honor of Black History Month, Johnson will address the chaos that followed Katrina with his talk titled The City that Care Forgot: New Orleans and the Future of American Urbanism at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

The event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Office of the President and Department of History at Illinois State, the talk is part of the Speaker Series at Illinois State University.

Johnson is editor of a collection of essays titled The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalist Culture and the Remaking of New Orleans. The book examines the root causes of the disaster of Katrina, and places blame squarely in neoliberal restructuring.Deluge also examines how pro-market reforms are reshaping life, politics and economy in New Orleans. The book won the W.E.B. DuBois Outstanding Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Johnson is also the author of Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics. 

Johnson earned a Ph.D. in government and politics from the University of Maryland-College Park, and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies at the University of Rochester. His scholarly work has been published in journals such as Souls and the Journal of Developing Societies.

The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.