Journal of Haitian Studies

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 1/2, Spring

A New Look at the Events of 20 June 1793
After nearly two centuries of neglect, the Haitian insurrection has suddenly taken its rightful place as a central event in the revolutionary era and the struggle against slavery. Historians are now at the point where we should strive to bring the same...
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Artists, Performers, and Black Masculinity in the Haitian Diaspora
Artists, Performers, and Black Masculinity in the Haitian Diaspora. By Jana Evans Braziel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. ISBN: 0253219787.300 pp. $65.00 cloth, $24.95 paper.In Artists, Performers, and Black Masculinity in the Haitian Diaspora,...
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Atis Rezistans: The Place, the Video, the Academy
If I could do it, I would do no writing at all here. It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth, bits of cotton, lumps of earth, records of speech, pieces of wood and iron, phials of odors, plates of food and of excrement. Booksellers...
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Attempts at Reforming Haiti's Education System: The Challenges of Mending the Tapestry, 1979-2004
INTRODUCTIONFor well over a quarter of a century, from 1979 to 2004 and continuing to the present day, Haiti's educational system has been at a critical juncture. In 1982, when Haiti embarked on a major overhaul of education - which came to be known...
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Birth of a Nation: The Creation of the Haitian Flag and Haiti's French Revolutionary Heritage
According to an oft-repeated story, Haiti's blue and red flag was born at the May 1803 Arcahaye conference, where Jean-Jacques Dessalines dramatically cut the French tricolor with his saber, leaving two strips that Catherine Flon, the Haitian Betsy Ross,...
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Dessalines's American Proclamations of the Haitian Independence
The moving public spectacle of the inauguration of the first black president of the United States in January of 2009 prompted many Haitians and friends of Haiti to think back to the ascension of the first black leader in a New World nation, Jean-Jacques...
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Dominican Cultures: The Making of a Caribbean Society
Dominican Cultures: The Making of a Caribbean Society. Edited by Bernardo Vega and translated by Christine Ayorinde. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-55876-435-4. 259 pp. $26.95 paper.The book Dominican Cultures: The Making of a Caribbean...
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"Enfans De L'amérique": Configuring Creole Citizenship in the Press, 1793
The January 15, 1793 issue of Le moniteur général de la partie française de Saint-Domingue published new verses for the "Hymne des Marseillais" - the now-famous national anthem of France. In the addition, an anonymous author, listed simply as "a Creole"...
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Gendering the June Days: Race, Masculinity, and Slave Emancipation in Saint Domingue
In 1816 honorée Marie-Louise, Queen of Haiti, lauded by the archbishop as "the perfect model of mothers and wives," smiled down upon an elaborate fête, complete with theatrical performance, formal ball, fireworks, and magnificent dinner, where King Henri...
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Haiti's Disproportionate Casualties after Environmental Disasters: Analyzing Human Vulnerabilities and the Impacts of Natural Hazards
During the 1970s, social scientists began to challenge established ways of understanding 'natural' disasters (Varley, 1994:1). Through case studies and disaster research, these scholars confirmed that environmental hazards are a natural process, although...
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Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History
Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History. By Susan Buck-Morss. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009. 151 pages. ISBN 978-0-8229-5978-6. 160 pp. $45.00 cloth. $16.95 paper.Reviewed by Patti M. MarxsenImagine a crowded courtroom on a hot day. The...
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Here ... There and Beyond: The Work of 16 Haitian Artists of Florida
Here ... There and Beyond: The Work of 16 Haitian Artists of Florida. By (KRISTO) Christian Nicholas and Fred Thomas. Coconut Creek, FL: Educa Vision, Inc., 2009. 328 pages. ISBN 978-1-58432-531-4. $50.00 Cloth.Christian Nicholas and Fred Thomas bring...
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Human Biology of Afro-Caribbean Populations
Human Biology of Afro-Caribbean Populations. By Lorena Madrigal. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN-13 978-0-521-81931-2. 268 pp. $152.00 cloth.This work reviews past and current research on the demography and human biology of Afro-Caribbean...
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I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem. By Maryse Condé. Trans. Richard Philcox. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, CARAF Books, 2009. ISBN 978-0-8139-2767-1. 227 pages. $16.50 paper.Maryse Condé is one of the world's most prominent and important...
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Light at the End of the Road: Thomas Jefferson's Endorsement of Free Haiti in His Final Years
Many historians and members of the public insist that Thomas Jefferson was a diehard racist who defended the justice of black slavery and opposed its abolition. However, at various times, even occasionally as president of the United States, and more...
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Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and US Imperialism
Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and US Imperialism. By Valerie Kaussen. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2008. ISBN 978-07391-1636-4. 245 pp. $75.00 cloth.The central chapter of Valerie Kaussen's book deals with the engaged, militant...
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On Rituals of Governance: An Inquiry into the Performative Logic of Sovereignty, Sparked by the Contemporary Practices of Bann a Pye in Bel Air, Haiti
This paper aims to present a theoretical framework for understanding the interrelated logics of performance and sovereignty as manifested in rituals of governance. The presentation of this framework, inspired as it is by my initial fieldwork on the practices...
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On the Treatment and Management of the More Common West-India Diseases 1750-1802/medical Revolutionaries: The Enslaved Healers of Eighteenth-Century Saint Domingue
On the Treatment and Management of the More Common West-India Diseases 1750-1802. Edited by J. Edward Hutson. Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2005. ISBN 9789766401771. 180 pp. $60.00 cloth.Medical Revolutionaries: The Enslaved Healers...
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Rational Cooperation: Situating Konbit Labor Practice in Context
INTRODUCTION1Traveling west towards the small town of Torbeck from the southern city of Les Cayes, one sees the Caribbean Sea to the south and the wide, seemingly never-ending rice fields to the north. Beyond the smooth road paved during the first Aristide...
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Reproducing Inequities: Poverty and the Politics of Population in Haiti
Reproducing Inequities: Poverty and the Politics of Population in Haiti. By M. Catherine Maternowska. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-8135-38548. 221 pages. $26.95 paper.In Reproducing Inequities, Maternowska unravels the dialectic...
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Serving the Spirit of the Dance: A Study of Jean-Léon Destiné, Lina Mathon Blanchet, and Haitian Folkloric Traditions
The American public's introduction to ritualistic Haitian dance has primarily been via non-Haitians such as Katherine Dunham-cultural anthropologist, writer, and internationally renowned dancer-and Maya Deren-dancer and chronicler of Vodou traditions....
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The Ambiguities of Agency: Marie Vieux-Chauvet's la Danse Sur le Volcan
Historian Jean Fouchard is perhaps best known for his book Les Marrons de la liberté (1972), which emphasizes the historical significance of the legions of escaped slaves participating in the Haitian Revolution and whose activities are a central feature...
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The Face of Lafwa: Vodou & Ancient Figurines Defy Human Destiny
Portable images of humans seem to be nearly ubiquitous throughout the space and time that art-producing humans have occupied. Some figurines are created to honor heroes and deities for reverential or apotropaic purposes. Some are made to recall idealized...
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Theory and the Social Revolution in Haiti
The social revolution of 1791 in Haiti has been largely considered as exceptional and hence not subject to generalizations. In this essay, I disagree with such a view. Haiti's social revolution is unique, but it is also "an integral part of the history...
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The Success of Toussaint Louverture: Dependence by Design
As the dust of the slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue settled, the most adept and proficient black leader to emerge from the colonial system swept himself off and began his ascent to the apex of international statecraft. Toussaint Louverture, the slave...
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Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World
Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World. Edited by Doris L. Garraway. Charlottesville, Virginia and London: University of Virginia Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8139-2685-8. 280 pp. $65.00 cloth.The collection of...
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Typo/Topo/Poéthique Sur Frankétienne
Typo/Topo/Poéthique sur Frankétienne. By Jean Jonassaint. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2008. ISBN 978-2-296-06787-5. 356 pp. 21euro paper.The harried scholar toiling in the field of Haitian or Caribbean literature must feel occasionally like King Henri Christophe...
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Yanvalou's Elliptic Displacements: Staging Spirit Time in the United States
The Haitian dance Yanvalou has made many elliptic displacements in traveling between ceremony and the stage in different locations. Choreographies of the Haitian dance Yanvalou offer viable grounds for analyses of the intersections between moments, glimmers,...
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