Haitian Studies Association

Past Conferences

32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers (English)

Nou La Pi Rèd! Embodying a New Praxis

October 8-10, 2020
The American University
Washington, DC

Submit your proposal NOW!

In Haiti and throughout the world, people are protesting against neoliberal austerity, state corruption, the shift to authoritarianism, and unbridled repression. Moments such as these oblige scholars and professionals to do more than talk or write. We are compelled to come together to think critically and productively about how theory and practice intertwine and how to incite meaningful change.

The 32nd annual conference of the Haitian Studies Association in Washington, D.C. is a call to focus on our praxis as Haitianists, and to examine the ways we work within and against transnational discourses, economic structures, practices of racialization, and policies. Thinking through our professional, disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses, we ask: What does truly transformational scholarship look like? How do we foreground perspectives that have historically been excluded and paint a more complete picture of Haiti’s past and the possibilities for her future?

International media often portray Haiti as being in a continuous crisis since its successful revolution for independence in 1804. This representation of history simultaneously fails to consider Haiti’s transnational roots and global connections as well as how Haitians persist in their valiant fight for their freedom and sovereignty. Despite the triumph of the Haitian Revolution — an “unthinkable” act in the words of anthropologist/historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot — the event threatened the core of white supremacy and resulted in dire repercussions against the new nation. In the face of “Western” critics we aim to highlight real concerns in the country and to stand in solidarity with Haiti. Men nou la! (We are here!)

The H.S.A. 2020 Conference is an opportunity for conversations across advocacy NGOs, policymakers, and international institutions who will benefit from the reservoir of interdisciplinary knowledge that H.S.A. has been filling for over 30 years. Conversely, scholars of Haiti will have the opportunity to learn about processes of advocacy, media, policy, and action from practitioners. We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions and performance pieces that explicitly interrogate, correct and/or create course-changing narratives about, and practices for Haiti. Priority will be given to proposals that deploy a reflexive understanding of our positions as humanists, artists, scientists and working professionals as well as an appreciation for the social hierarchies that shape the type of work we engage in. We especially encourage presentations that stimulate reflection on our multiple and variously-situated identities; across languages; and our legal and employment statuses.

Proposals for papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, performances, and installations are due April 15 May 1st.


In addition to plenaries and concurrent sessions, H.S.A. 2020 will dedicate space to accommodate up to eight Working Group Sessions. We will solicit conveners whose proposals work through and extend the conference themes through practical, methodological and theoretical approaches reflective of the strides Haitian Studies is making in the 21st century.

Please see additional information by CLICKING HERE.


Last year, members submitted fully-constituted plenaries made up of three short (fifteen minute) papers. This year we encourage panels that bridge scholarship and practice in addition to interdisciplinary examinations of the conference theme and panels that include scholars/practitioners from Haiti and other traditionally marginalized sectors of H.S.A. Members whose panel proposals are accepted as a plenary commit to sending all three papers to H.S.A. by September 10 so they can be translated into another of the official languages of H.S.A. (Haitian Creole, French, or English). Accepted plenary submissions must also include a visual summary (e.g. PowerPoint) accessible in a language other than the language used in the oral presentation.

Proposals for Plenaries are due April 1st.

Plenary proposals that are not selected for this conference will be considered for the April 15th May 1st general deadline and do not need to be resubmitted.

Guidelines for Participation

1. Contact Information
It is essential that the contact information be listed for all participants designated in the proposal form. For every submission, there must be one contact person who will be the main email recipient. However it is important to include the name, affiliation, and email for each individual participant. Other names listed may be contacted, but it is the designated person’s responsibility to ensure everyone on the proposal form is informed and up to date.

2. Types of presentations
There are four broad categories of presentations that can be submitted:

Single papers written by one or multiple authors. These individual proposals will be grouped with other proposals of similar theme to form a panel. Each individual presentation is about 15 minutes.
Panels, roundtables or workshops. They are comprised of a group of presenters who wish to present together on a topic of their design. Group proposals have an entire timeslot of 75 minutes.
Video presentations. Depending on duration and type, documentaries may be placed together with other presentations or given a time slot. Keep in mind time slots are 75 minutes. If your work is longer, please make sure to note this in your abstract so we can determine early on if accommodations are possible.
● Installations. Depending on the nature of the proposal H.S.A. will give these presentations a time slot and floor space for their display/performance.

3. Abstracts:
In order to ensure blind review, reviewers will only see the abstract. Your abstract must not include your name, affiliation, or any other identifying information. All proposals must be “blinded” for review.

For individual submissions, please include a 250-word abstract for individual proposals, documentaries, art exhibits, and performances.For group submissions, please include a 500-word summary for group proposals. The overview should include:

● Title
● Purpose, goals, and objectives
● Methodology, conclusions, and/or questions raised
● If you need to add supplementary materials, such as images or a video trailer, please contact H.S.A. to make sure the materials are added to the proposal.

For panel proposals, please include a title and overview for each paper on the proposal form. Panels should include no more than three papers and a Chair/Discussant, who must be identified on the proposal form.

Roundtable proposals should include no more than four participants plus a Chair/Moderator, who must also be identified on the proposal form. “Roundtables” are open discussions, not a collection of individual papers. Instead of discrete paper titles, proposals should include questions to lead the discussion.

Workshop proposals should focus on particular skills to be gained and offer details about format, including schedule for activities.

Participation Limitation
H.S.A. welcomes as many people as possible to participate in the conference. Therefore, each participant is limited to one paper presentation. However, a participant can perform more than one role—presenting a paper and chairing a panel, or presenting a paper and participating in a roundtable discussion.

Registration will begin August 1st, 2020. All presenters must be members of HSA to present, must register and pay by August 30th, 2020 to attend the conference.

Proposal Review and Selection Process
An anonymous review of each conference proposal will be conducted by a minimum of two reviewers. Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of quality and contribution to the theme of the conference.

Notification of Decision
Decision regarding acceptance of presentations will be announced by July 1, 2020.

Publication in the Journal of Haitian Studies
Manuscripts from selected abstracts and presentations can be submitted for publication in the Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS) at the end of the conference. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and subject to an editing process prior to final acceptance. Manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere in similar form with substantially similar content. For information on the JOHS, please contact Dr. Claudine Michel at claudine.michel@ucsb.edu.

Submit your proposal NOW!

Please contact us if you have questions regarding the proposal submission process.