Haitian Studies Association

Journal of Haitian Studies

Journal of Haitian Studies Fall 2021 – Volume 27, Number 2

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Table of Contents

MEMORY AND TEMPORALITY IN HAITIAN LITERATURE
Symbolic Ecologies: A Conch Shell Poetics for the Haitian Imaginary
—Julian H. Currents
Inheriting Haitian History: Communal Memory and Diasporic Arts of Resistance
—Norrell Edwards

HAITI’S INTERNATIONAL IMPACT
The Haitian Revolution and Debates on Black Pioneers in the Jamaican Militia
—Kameika S. Murphy
“¿Cómo no publicarlas?”: Editora Taller’s Publication of a Trio of Haitian-Authored Novels in the Dominican Republic
—Megan Jeanette Myers

REALISM AND REALITY: CONSTRUCTING THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
L’Imaginaire transatlantique à l’épreuve du réalisme haïtien : Séna de Fernand Hibbert
—Clint Bruce
Dézafi/Les Affres d’un défi et le paradigme dechoukaj
—Jean-Ederson Jean-Pierre
Getting Some in Paradise: History, Sex, and Destiny from Short Stories by Dany Laferrière to Laurent Cantet’s Vers le sud
—Haley L. Osborn

BOOK REVIEWS
The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution, by Jeremy Glick
—Raj G. Chetty
Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean, edited by Vanessa K. Valdés
—Danielle M. Dorvil
Transnational Hispaniola: New Directions in Haitian and Dominican Studies, edited by April J. Mayes and Kiran C. Jayaram
—Danielle M. Dorvil
Stirring the Pot of Haitian History, by Michel-Rolph Trouillot, translated and edited by Mariana Past and Benjamin Hebblethwaite
—Jean-Ederson Jean-Pierre
The Haitian Declaration of Independence: Creation, Context, and Legacy, edited by Julia Gaffield
—Dannie Brice

Announcements & Statements, Opportunities

2021 Nominations for the H.S.A. Board (Student Representative)

New Board Members (2020): Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper, Ayanna Legros, Petrouchka Moïse


English

Kreyòl

Français


OPEN POSITIONS

  • One (1) Student Representative (with a seat on the Board), for a (2) two-year term, from January 2022 to December 2023. 

 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors (“the Board”) shall administer the affairs of Haitian Studies Association (HSA). The terms of the elected members shall be for three years. Contingent on the number of vacated positions, new members shall be elected every year electronically or by paper ballot at the annual meeting as prescribed in the By-Laws. The Board shall carry out HSA’s mission, purposes and goals, and promote its professional interests. The Board must also ensure that ties are maintained with Haitian academic institutions. The Board shall oversee the business of the HSA, manage its properties, receive gifts, grants, and donations; approve and implement annual budgets, and take all the necessary actions in the interest of HSA.

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

There shall be a designated student member. The student representative will serve from January 2022 to December 2023 and will complete the three-year term of the previous student member who was only able to serve one year.  The nominee must have attended two out of the last five Haitian Studies Association Conferences and be a member in good standing and must demonstrate a potential for making contributions to the field of Haitian Studies. In the event that the student member is no longer a student, they will continue to serve as a board member until the next scheduled election. The student representative will receive an established and set stipend to attend the HSA annual meeting.

The Student Representative is a member of The Emerging Scholars Committee, which provides directions to the Board on all matters that pertain to the scholarship and development of undergraduate and graduate students and all other scholars who have recently completed graduate degrees and/or at the beginning of their careers. The committee also oversees the annual Emerging Scholars events and research and travel awards. The Student Representative may chair the Emerging Scholars Committee.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARD MEMBERS

Each Board member is expected

  • To be knowledgeable about and support the HSA’s mission, services, policies, and programs.
  • Support the Board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Attend all board and committee meetings and functions, which consist of the Annual Conference held either in October or November, as well as the Annual Board Retreat held every April (the location of both meetings varying in accordance with the location of the conference), and in addition periodical – usually monthly – zoom conference calls, variable according to work to be done.
  • Serve on standing and ad hoc committees or task forces, and offer to take on special assignments.
  • Recruit members to and inform scholars about HSA.
  • Seek candidates (for election to the Board) who can make significant contributions to the work of the Board and HSA.
  • Keep up-to-date on major developments in Haitian Studies.
  • Serve the full length of the three-year term (2 years in this case as it is a special election). 
  • Active participation is required to remain a member of the Board (no participation may lead to removal). 

NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS

Each nominee for Student Representative on the Board

  • must have been a member of HSA for two of the last five years
  • must have attended two out of the last five Haitian Studies Association Conferences
  • must be enrolled in an accredited full-time program to be a student representative 

NOMINATION PROCEDURES

All members of the Haitian Studies Association may enter a nomination. Self-nominations are welcomed. Current Board members may be nominated to run for election again.

Nomination materials should include a brief statement (400 words maximum) describing expertise, experience, and interest in Haitian Studies, and a recent CV and a photo. The deadline for nominations is 30 November 2021, 11:59 pm EST. Voting will take place by electronic ballot from December 3 to 10, 2021. The newly elected student representative will be announced on December 11, 2021.  The (2) two-year term begins in January 2022 and ends in December 2023.

 To enter a nomination or self-nomination, please complete the form here.

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Past Events, Photos & Videos, Videos

The Character Assassination of Haiti (November 1, 2021)



View Recorded Livestream


Co-sponsored by Union Theological Seminary, Haitian Studies Association, and In Cultured Company.

Join us on Monday, November 1, at 8:00 pm EST in celebration of Fèt Gede (Haitian Day of the Dead). Dr. Samuel Cruz and Nyya Flores Toussaint ’19 will host a discussion about how Haiti’s social, political, and spiritual context is wrongly contextualized as being a result of the 1791 Vodou ceremony at Bwa Kayiman that marked the beginning of the Slave Rebellion and Haitian Revolution.

Since Haiti’s successful establishment of the second nation-state in the Americas, Bwa Kayiman has been falsely claimed as Haiti making a pact with the devil in order to be emancipated and independent. This conversation will critically analyze the role imperialism, Christianity, and anti-Blackness have had on Haiti’s current politics, history, and spirituality.

Panelists

Dr. Kyrah Malika Daniels, Assistant Professor of Art History and African & African Diaspora Studies, Boston College
Dr. Nathalie Frédéric Pierre, Assistant Professor of History of African Diaspora, Howard University
Dr. Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper, Assistant Professor School of Social Sciences, University of California Irvine

Environment Blog, Working Group - Environment

The Energy Potential of Marine Macroalgae in Haiti

by Gary W. Gervais & Jodany Fortuné


Welcome to the HSA Working Group on the Environment's blog series. For information on how to contribute your work, please contact Gary Gervais, ggervais@hushmail.com, or Lois Wilcken, lois@makandal.org.



Fig 1: Sargassum invasion on the South coast of Haiti, 2014

Haiti, like most Caribbean countries, faces a growing energy crisis due to the increasing costs of fossil fuels and the lack of indigenous domestic energy supplies. Biofuels are increasingly considered as alternatives to fossil fuels to power modern societies, but they carry their own negative environmental impacts and limitations. In order for biofuels to make a more positive impact on the energy economy of Haiti, three conditions must be met: (i) a new source of millions of tons of sustainably sourced biomass must be discovered with fewer negative environmental impacts than fuel wood; (ii) the biomass must be safely and efficiently transformed into a useful fuel to serve the needs of homes and industries; and (iii) an entire transportation and distribution network has to be created to place this new energy supply in the hands of the end users. Today, we will discuss our research into turning sargassum seaweed into useful biogas energy.

In our laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), we have spent a decade exploring the technical and economic viability of using marine macroalgae as a source of biomass to replace part of the fossil fuel demand. Puerto Rico (PR) is even more dependent on imported fossil fuels than Haiti, as 98% of our total energy supplies come from imported oil, gas and coal. Just for comparison, PR imports more than 35 million barrels of oil equivalents per year, while Haiti imports about 7.7 million. The total cost of these imports represents $855 per capita in PR and $47 per capita in Haiti (CIA 2020). In addition to the great environmental costs that these fossil fuels impose on our countries, these imports represent a huge tax on local economies, so that any substitution of imports with domestic energy supplies would represent a positive contribution to economic development in both jurisdictions.

Our research has shown that sargassum can be converted into biogas even in full-strength seawater – that is seawater which is at least 3.2% sea salts. Our research, originally funded by the US Department of Defense from 2012-2015 ( Grant # W911NF-11-1-0218), was designed to demonstrate whether an anaerobic digester could operate in seawater to convert marine biomass into biogas. Biogas is produced by microbial processes which must be carried out in the total absence of oxygen, since it is exceedingly toxic to the microbes which produce methane gas, the key fuel component of biogas. The devices where this process is implemented are called bioreactors, or anaerobic digesters, and are simply large sealed tanks into which one pumps a feed slurry of water and ground up biomass. The slurry passes slowly through the tank as the microbes inside consume the biomass (in our case a sargassum slurry), converting the carbon in the algae into new microbial cells and excreting biogas as a waste product. The same liquid volume that enters the bioreactor every day at the inlet end must be matched to the removal of an equivalent volume of spent effluent at the outlet end, in order to maintain a constant volume of liquid. The spent effluent is still rich in nutrients, dead microbial cells and minerals, and in our original proposal to the DOD we described the possible end applications of this effluent as part of our proposed biogas industry. Our primary interest has been the use of these effluents to promote the creation of a local aquaculture industry to grow high value macroalgae which are commonly used as source of fine chemicals, food, and nutraceuticals. In contrast to Haiti, which has no macroalgae industry, the production and transformation of marine algae is a major industry in Asia, the North Atlantic, and some other Caribbean islands.

Each year, from five to twenty million tons of sargassum drifts across the Caribbean, until it lands on the shores of the islands and the Gulf Coast of Mexico and the United States (US) (Yong, 2019). Haiti, the Dominican Republic (DR), and PR all have to deal with the massive amounts of sargassum which pile up the beaches for a few months every year. In PR and the DR, municipal governments must spend millions of dollars every year to haul tons of sargassum to the sanitary landfills. The marina in Palmas del Mar Puerto Rico alone spends US$175,000 just for sargassum removal from that one small area (Días-Torres, 2021). The excess algae may also destroy coastal fishing in addition to shutting down the tourism industry. Milledge and Harvey reported in 2016%% that Caribbean nations were spending US$120 million per year for sargassum removal, while the island city of Galveston Texas alone was spending US$3.5M per year. As you may already know if you have visited the beaches near Jacmel, this huge mass of algae rots on the beaches, producing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and driving away tourism.

This biomass could be transformed from an environmental nightmare into a valuable asset if we can demonstrate the technical and economic viability of producing biogas at an industrial scale. Our ten years of work have shown that the technology works at the laboratory scale. What is now required is a pilot facility where we can generate the necessary hard data on feedstock variability, biogas production rates, effluent composition, and effluent applications. With good pilot plant data we could conceivably convince investors (either public or private sector) to invest in the first large scale demonstration plant.

Our group at UPR, in collaboration with researchers from Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince, as well as American University of the Caribbean (Les Cayes) have been actively seeking funds from international agencies for the construction and operation of a pilot plant on the south coast of Haiti, which receives the largest deposits of sargassum in the country. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive financing from any of the agencies we have approached. This is only partly due to the current political and social instability in Haiti; other factors impede our fund-raising efforts. These proposals were prepared with a variety of collaborating local and international institutions to build pilot plants in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and/or Haiti. Biofuels research, like most applied research, is at the mercy of the whims of national and international agencies that are driven by scientific fashion and popularity as much as by scientific need. Unfortunately, marine biofuels research was recently in a trough and none of our proposals were funded. On a more positive note, the scientific gossip has it that algal biofuels may come back into favor, at least during the Biden administration. In any case, we have already achieved what we can hope to accomplish in our small laboratory bioreactors (See Fig 2), and the next stage of our research must be at a much larger scale, hence, the need for a pilot plant.

Figure 2. 15L laboratory bioreactor at the University of Puerto Rico.

To better understand the potential, we can project the biogas output for every thousand tons of sargassum slurry we process. We should point out that our own research, as well as research from other labs around the Caribbean over the years, has shown that sargassum is one of the most difficult macroalgae species for anaerobic digestion, as the cell wall material is very resistant to anaerobic degradation. Therefore, if we can make useful amounts of biogas from sargassum (see Fig. 3), then we are convinced that we can do so with any other local algae species.

Figure 3. Sargassum collected on Escambron beach, San Juan, PR 2016 (photo credit Fortuné)

Wet sargassum (just collected from the sea) has about 5 to 7 percent solids content, so 50 to 70 kg of dry algal biomass per metric ton. The fuel value of these organic solids, assuming you just burned them in air, would be about 8 million kilojoules per metric ton. Table 1 offers a rough breakdown of the yields of biogas fuel we can anticipate for every thousand metric tons of fresh sargassum we process, under optimistic and pessimistic assumptions for biogas energy yield. The design basis is a process for converting 1000 metric tons per year of fresh sargassum into biogas and other useful by-products. Since sargassum is only available for three to six months per year (spring through fall), it is more cost-effective to harvest the algae at the peak of its production, convert the raw sargassum into silage for long term storage, and then gassify the silage throughout the entire year in a bioreactor. This permits us to keep the bioreactor in operation year-round, even though the feedstock (sargassum) is available for less than half of the year.


Table 1: Design specifications for a small biogas plant for Haiti

Click to view table


It is clear from these numbers that although sargassum is plentiful in the Caribbean, it could not supply more than a small fraction of the current annual fossil fuel demand of Haiti (7.7M barrels of oil equivalent). Realistically, we could not hope to harvest more than half a million tons of floating sargassum rafts off the Haitian coast (optimistically equivalent to 12,000 BOE of energy). Therefore, although biogas does represent an option for mitigating the serious environmental problems caused by sargassum on the south coast of Haiti, it could only substitute for a small fraction of the total annual fossil fuel energy demand of the country.

However, we have shown that intense cultivation of marine macroalgae off the coasts of PR in aquaculture farms could provide a significant fraction of the total energy demand of PR. Intensive aquaculture of macroalgae has been shown to produce much more biomass per hectare than natural harvests—and there is much data to support this (Roesijadi et al, 2010). Haiti has a great potential for macroalgae aquaculture, given its long coast line and relatively low per capita energy consumption and we would strongly urge Haiti to consider the feasibility of creating a marine aquaculture industry for biomass production for food, fuel, and fine chemicals. Many island jurisdictions have already created vibrant macroalgae industries, and Haiti can do the same.

Building a demonstration plant to convert invasive sargassum into useful biogas could serve as a transition step in the development of a full scale macroalgae biomass industry which would produce not only energy but also food products, fertilizers and other fine chemicals which have a very high market value. Meanwhile, the demonstration plant would allow Haitian scientists and engineers to perfect the technology of biogas production, the safe harvest of sargassum, and later the intensive harvest of commercially grown algal species. The demonstration plant would also serve as a proving ground for the development of the potential high-value by-products which would make the whole operation economically sound, in addition to being enormously beneficial to the coastal environment.


References:

CIA Fact book, 2020 (2016 data) retrived from: IEA.ORG

Theodora.com: Haiti International Rankings 2020

Días-Torres, R. 2021 Sin Rumbo el Manejo del Sargazo en Puerto Rico. Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, 7 Julio, 2021.

Louime, C. Fortune, J.  and Gervais, G.. 2017 Sargassum Invasion of Coastal Environments: A Growing Concern.  Am. J. of Env. Sciences. doi.10.3844/ajessp2017.

Milledge, J.J. & Harvey, P.J. 2016. Golden Tides: Problem or Golden Opportunity? The Valorisation of Sargassum from Beach Inundations. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4, 60.

Roesijadi et al, 2010.  Macroalgae as a Biomass Feedstock: A Preliminary Analysis,  Report # PNNL- 19944 of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.

Yong, E. 2019. Why Waves of Seaweed Have Been Smothering Caribbean Beaches

Since 2011, blooms of Sargassum have wreaked havoc on tropical shores. A new study explains why this is likely a new normal. The Atlantic Monthly. July 4, 2019.


Glossary

gassify: A biological or thermochemical process for converting a solid or liquid into a gas. In our laboratory, sargassum seaweed is converted into biogas using a microbial process.

kilojoules (kJ): A common unit of energy.    A liter of gasoline has a heat of combustion of 34,200 KJ of thermal energy or 8170 kilocalories/

Nutraceuticals: Specialized food products of high nutritional value or with medicinal properties.  Many marine products are now being marketed as nutraceuticals.

Sargassum: A large family of brown macroalgae ( more than 100 described species), more than one meter long, which may be found free-floating as large rafts in open waters of the Atlantic (The Great Sargassum Sea).   Some species attach to the bottom substrate in shallow coastal waters.

silage: Raw plant biomass which is allowed to ferment slightly in to permit long-term storage at room temperature without losing nutritional value.


Read More of H.S.A.'s Environmental Blog

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SOIL Haiti - A Circular Economy Model for Urban Sanitation in Vulnerable Communities

Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a Haiti-based non-profit social enterprise that is setting a global example for how to affordably and sustainably provide safely managed sanitation in rapidly growing urban communities. Since 2006, SOIL has been working to provide access to in-home sanitation through its EkoLakay toilet service. Its circular economy approach includes providing in-home toilets, the collection and treatment of wastes, and the transformation of that waste into rich, organic compost. SOIL’s work sits at the intersection of human rights, environmental justice, and economic development, and we are proud of our long-term commitment to Haiti.

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Dappiyanp sou Tè: Seizure of Land, Rights, and Sustainability in Haiti

The month of May in Haiti has customarily celebrated the worker, and until very recent times people understood “worker” as one who tilled the soil. The month kicks off with Labor Day conflated with May Day, the former rooted in labor organizing and the latter in rural festivals marking the start of summer. Practitioners of Haitian Vodou salute Azaka Mede, spirit of the earth and farmers, throughout the month.

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Past Conferences, Photos & Videos, Videos

33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Plenary “Haiti in Crisis” (October 23, 2021)

This event was part of the Haitian Studies Association’s 33rd Annual Conference “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”.



View Recorded Livestream (in English)


Without a doubt, Haiti’s ongoing crisis will reach a nadir in late October 2021. Following his illegitimate election and extraconstitutional hold on power after a bogus constitutional plebiscite, the regime crisis will be reaching a climax of resistance to tyranny. Whether or not liberal institutions or constructivist ideas can overcome power disparities in some contexts, Haiti has always had a “state against the nation” Now independently sanctioned violence has been privatized or subcontracted enforcement. A system of extortion and embezzlement is subtle, but still continuing from the roots of Duvalierism established through the Macoute networks.

While some of the events will be contingent on the vagaries of Fortuna and other catalytic causes, there are some relatively new intermediate and ultimate causes to the effort to resist the Moisean autocracy. The panel will includes several close colleagues who have been discussing Haiti over several decades, as well as some who are closer in age to the majority of those taking to the Haitian street. Each of the panelist will consider a different elements, connecting the ultimate and intermediate causes with the trajectory of whatever the events of October may the directing: economic; constitutional; political; foreign bilateral, foreign multilateral; grass-roots organizing; religious and social movement resistance, police and army abuse of power, public corruption, mass poverty, public health incapacity, leaders’ impunity, morally repugnant elites, etc.

The international community has often failed Haiti. Liberal peacekeeping and peace building by the United Nations, which ended a fifteen-year occupation of Haiti in 2018, has been a very mixed record: preventing coups and — even more importantly for the US which financed the mission — preventing migrants to the US. Yet the UN mission was noted for its sex trafficking and for introducing a cholera epidemic. The UN also demanded impunity for the UN bombing of that same neighborhood, Cite Soleil.

Digitization has made documentation and responsibility for guilt far more accessible for the mass public as well as in elite debates. The effort to control the narrative of events going forward will depend on who owns the ability to control digital presentations. the UN report on the November 2018 La Saline massacre involved close to one-hundred murders (59 officially, United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti 2019). Where “between 25 and 71 people were killed by members of a criminal gang, with complicity with State actors (UN Document S/2019/198 para. 38), a generally unrecognized factor is the huge underclasses in Haiti’s cities, many of whom are desperate migrants originally from the countryside inside their same countries, or they have migrated from one urban to another urban settlement. In Haiti’s poorest sectors have been highly motivated because of mass starvation facing official corruption that was documented in a Parliamentary report. Haiti fits into the world social movement of global civil society, where these violations have been identified by transnational advocacy networks, which include the UN and parts of the US, with foreign researchers teaming up with local memorialization activists and scholars, which this panel analyzes.

Chair: Chip Carey (Georgia State University)

Haiti’s Crisis and the World Economy

• Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)

Haiti’s Crisis and Dominican Elites

• Robert Fatton (University of Virginia)

Haiti’s Crisis and Impunity

• Anne Fuller (Independent Scholar)

Haiti’s Crisis and Higher Education

• Reynold Verret (Xavier University of Louisiana)

Past Conferences, Photos & Videos, Videos, Videyo an kreyòl

33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Keynote Panel (October 22, 2021)

This event was part of the Haitian Studies Association’s 33rd Annual Conference “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”.



English

Kreyòl


View Recorded Livestream (in English)


Since 2020, the world has forever changed. The Covid-19 pandemic with its 3 million death toll has left families devastated throughout the world and created major social, political and economic shifts everywhere as well as the need to adapt to new means of communication. It has also been a time of unprecedented worldwide re-awakening and wide ranging protests against racism, white supremacy, state sanctioned violence and unequal life conditions. People of all generations and all creeds and color have rallied to demand justice, stand against oppression of all sorts, and demand respect for human rights worldwide.

2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.

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?

This keynote panel offers an opportunity for a conversation with three people who work full time in Haiti, with one foot in the academic world and another in a host of public engagement. The conference theme – and the current historical moment – demand a new praxis, using Gramscian terminology. What role does scholarship play in solutions?

Panelists:

  • Sabine Lamour
  • Ilionor Louis
  • Evelyne Trouillot

Questions:

  1. To begin, please situate your work… on the one hand, you are in the university, and another you are an actively engaged citizen. How do these worlds connected?
  2. If you experience a conflict in these roles, how do you resolve them?
  3. We heard several analyses about crises that appear isolated: the political situation including the assassination and transition, the earthquakes in the southern peninsula, and the massive deportations along the U.S.-Mexico border. For you, how can we understand these together?
  4. Many people focus their analyses on the Haitian State whereas others focus on the global capitalist system’s role. Can you give your analysis of the relationship between these two fields?
  5. H.S.A. brings together artists, humanists, social scientists and natural scientists. What is the role of scholarly work in the solution to today’s crises?
  6. H.S.A. is taking seriously the necessity to decolonize Haitian Studies. What work do people in the academy need to do to prepare for the struggle?

Past Conferences, Photos & Videos, Videos, Working Groups

The Rights to Live Creatively (October 20, 2021)

This event was part of the Haitian Studies Association’s 33rd Annual Conference “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”.



View Recorded Livestream


Wednesday, October 20, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

As the first official convening of the HSA Sexualities Working Group, this event builds on “The Rights to Live Creatively,” a series of conversations and roundtables we facilitated in Fall 2020. We gather to share knowledge and galvanize our commitments, interests, and labor. The first hour of this meeting will feature presentations by Haiti-based community organizers Merlin Jean and Vadson Nicholas, Directors of Cap Haitien-based human rights organization Heritage; Sandy Pierre, Community Activist of Organisation Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti (ORAH); and Soeurette Policar, Executive Director of Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté (ODELPA). In the second hour, we will move into conversation and action planning with all attendees. What are the stakes of “living creatively” in Haiti at this moment? How might we build transnational solidarity projects together?

Sexualities Working Group co-conveners:
  • Josué Azor
  • Dasha A. Chapman
  • Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper
  • Mario LaMothe

Featuring Community Organizers:

  • Merlin Jean (Heritage)
  • Vadson Nicholas (Heritage)
  • Sandy Pierre (Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti)
  • Soeurette Policar (Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté

Past Conferences, Photos & Videos, Videos, Working Group - Environment, Working Groups

The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis (Oct. 19, 2021)

This event was part of the Haitian Studies Association’s 33rd Annual Conference “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”.



View Recorded Livestream



On boarding the ship to his captivity in 1802, Toussaint L’Ouverture delivered a characterization of liberty that would become famous: its roots are many and deep. In the 217 years since Haiti’s independence, the nation’s liberty has been challenged, its roots entangled with invasive species, likewise many and deep. This meeting of HSA’s Working Group on the Environment (Konbit) will present the multidisciplinary perspectives of five scholars and activists. After introductory remarks—presenters’ names and affiliations and discussion ground rules—each of the five presenters will make a statement of no more than five minutes in order to allow maximum time for comments, questions, and discussion with attendees. The meeting will end with an announcement from our blog/vlog team about the progress of that effort, and with suggested ways for all to become involved.

Presenters:

  • Marc Prou (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
  • Evens Emmanuel (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
  • Gary Gervais (University of Puerto Rico)
  • Jodany Fortuné (University of Puerto Rico)
  • Karen Richman (University of Notre Dame) & Stanley Mathurin (United States Army)

Past Conferences, Past Events

33rd Annual Conference – Conference Program (October 21-23, 2021)

33rd Annual Conference:

Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis

Conference Program

Pre-conference activities

Saturday, October 16, 2021

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Archives Working Group: Archives and Public Memory in Haiti and the Diaspora
• Elizabeth Pierre-Louis (FOKAL)
• Frederick Mangones (Independent Architect)
• Hadassah St Hubert (Independent Scholar)
• Laura Wagner (Former Radio Haiti Project Archivist at Duke University)


Tuesday, October 19, October 21, 2021

4:00 pm – 6:00 pmEnvironment Working Group: The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis (View Recorded Livestream)
Featuring:
• Marc Prou (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
• Evens Emmanuel (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
• Gary Gervais (University of Puerto Rico)
• Jodany Fortuné (University of Puerto Rico)
• Karen Richman (University of Notre Dame)
• Stanley Mathurin (United States Army)


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

12:00pm – 2:00pmSexualities Working Group: The Rights to Live Creatively (View Recorded Livestream)
Featuring Community Organizers:
• Merlin Jean (Heritage)
• Vadson Nicholas (Heritage)
• Sandy Pierre (Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti)
• Soeurette Policar (Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté)


Thursday, October 21, 2021

1:00pm – 2:30pm Advocacy Day Workshop Sustainable Political Advocacy (View Recorded Livestream)

Break

3:00pm – 5:00pm Advocacy Day Briefing: Disentangling Discourses of Disaster (View Recorded Livestream)


Friday, October 22, 2021

10:00 – 11:15 – Concurrent Session 1

[F1A] Feminisms/Féminismes: Droits et défis
Room: Pòtoprens
Chair: Celucien Joseph*
Le féminisme en chanson vers une analyse de l’hymne du mouvement féministe haïtien
• Sabine Lamour (Université d’Etat d’Haiti)
Les OMF haïtiennes sont-elles résilientes face aux crises que traversent le pays : Une étude exploratoire
• Hubermane Ciguino (CREGED/Université Quisqueya)
• Bénédique Paul (CREGED-CHIBAS/Université Quisqueya)
Le concubinage en droit haïtien: Perspectives Comparatives
• Woudy Vedrine (Université de Strasbourg, France et Université d’Etat d’Haïti, Haïti )

[F1B] La reconnaissance des luttes des minorités sexuelles dans le mouvement social haïtien contemporain
Room: Okap
Chair: Melissa Jules (Université Episcopale d’Haïti)
Les luttes des minorités sexuelles ou la mise à l’épreuve de la construction de l‘hégémonie des subalternes dans le champ politique haïtien
• Yvan Pérets Vilsaint (Université Episcopale d’Haïti)
Proposition d’une nouvelle pédagogie de l’action collective pour la construction d’une hégémonie pluraliste des identités subalternisées
• Kersley Pierre (Université Episcopale d’Haïti)

[F1C] Questions of Language in the Diaspora
Room: Okay
Chair: Darlène Dubuisson*
“Nou pa pale Fransè isit la”: The Haitian Diaspora and Practices of Kreyòl on Social Media
• Charmane Perry (University of Alabama Birmingham)
Konsèvasyon lang ak kilti kreyòl nan dyaspora ayisyen an
• Johnny Laforêt (Princeton University)

[F1D] Freedom and the Arts
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Amanda Pinheiro*
“Sou ki pye pou nou danse?”: Frankétienne’s Dézafi and Chaotic Iterations of Libète
• Lindsey Meyer (Emory University)
Les Racines des Libertés: Haiti and Black Freedom in the Artistic Imaginary
• James Fisher (Ohio University)
Moment of Honesty, Reflection, and Praxis: Demystifying the Cost of the Haitian Revolution and Black Freedom Struggle
• Marshall Smith (Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University)

[F1E] History, Activism and Aid in Literature
Room: Mibalè
Chair: Kofi M. Mustapha*
Revolutionary Women and Literary Praxis in Evelyne Trouillot’s Désirée Congo (2020)
• Lucy Swanson (University of Arizona)
On abolition: Poetics and Politics in the Works of Edwidge Danticat
• Ryan Augustyniak (Florida State University)
Birds & Blan: Avian Representations of Humanitarian Aid in Haitian Literature
• Jocelyn Franklin (Wofford College)
Revisiting Early Haitian Poetry in Creole: Georges Sylvain’s Cric? Crac!
• Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo (The University of the West Indies, Mona)

[F1F] A History of Violence and Trauma
Room: Aken
Chair: Ervin Julius*
The Scope of Terror: Determining the number of people killed during the Duvalier regime
• Jean-Philippe Belleau (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Titanyen and Collective Trauma in Haiti
• Jana Braziel (Miami University)
Military Power and Police Power in Haiti: A Continuum of Violence
• Jennifer Greenburg (Stanford University)
A New Plague: Gangs, Violence, and Women in Edwidge Danticat’s Claire of the Sea Light and Everything Inside
• Robyn Cope (Binghamton University)

11:15am – 1:00pmOpening Remarks & Keynote Panel (View Recorded Livestream)
Room: Ayiti
Keynote Speakers:
• Sabine Lamour
• Ilionor Louis
• Evelyne Trouillot

Break

1:15pm – 2:30pm – Concurrent Session 2

[F2B] New Social Movements
Room: Okap
Chair: Cécile Accilien*
Batay pou rekonèt dwa kominote LGBTI an Ayiti
• Ilionor Louis (université d’État d’Haïti)
Mise en sens de l’action protestataire appelé peyilòk en Haïti.
• Magalie Civil (Université d’Ottawa)
Résistance paysanne contre le projet touristique « Destination Ile-a-Vache »
• Walner Osna (Université d’Ottawa)

[F2C] Littérature, Identité et Altérité : Discours identitaire et politique de l’autre dans la littérature caribéenne du 20ème siècle
Room: Okay
Chair: Dieulermesson Petit Frère (Université Paris-Est Créteil)
Collaborative Approaches to Translating Haitian Poetry: James Noël’s ‘La Migration des murs’
• Siobhan Méï (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Indigénisme et figure identitaire dans Le choc de Léon Laleau
• Mirline Pierre (Université Paris-Est Créteil)
Identités non-figées, révolte, similitudes : le soi et l’autre dans ‘Thérèse en mille morceaux’ de Lyonel Trouillot,
• Dieulermesson Petit Frère (Université Paris-Est Créteil)

[F2D] Exceptionalism: Unmasking the National Narratives of Haiti and the United States.
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)
U.S. Exceptionalism as Ideology: Assessing Fatton’s Argument.
• Henry F. Carey (Georgia State University)
Haitian Exceptionalism: What Does it Really Mean?.
• François Pierre-Louis (Queens College, City University of New York)
An Overview and Appraisal of Fatton’s Argument
• Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)
A Reply to the Critiques
• Robert Fatton (University of Virginia)

[F2E] Reconstructing the Social Sciences and Humanities: Anténor Firmin, Western Intellectual Tradition, and Black Atlantic Tradition
Room: Mibalè
Chair: Celucien Joseph (Indian River State College)
Tous les hommes sont l’homme : Anténor Firmin, Toussaint Louverture, Racial Equality and the Fact of Blackness
• Paul Miller (Vanderbilt University)
Anténor Firmin: The Perils and Opportunities of Being a ‘Peripheral’ Writer
• Matthew Allen (University of Warwick)
Antenor Firmin: Founding Father of Pan Africanism
• Gershom Williams (Mesa Community College)
Reconstructing the Universality of the Social Sciences and Humanities: Anténor Firmin and Black (Haitian) Atlantic Thought and Culture
• Paul Mocombe (pmocombe@mocombeian.com)

[F2F] Social Praxis and Investigating Health Issues In a Time of Crisis in Haiti
Room: Aken
Chair: Adler Camilus (Mirebalais University Hospital (Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health))
Quality of Life in Ostomy Patients: A Qualitative Study
• Maurice Junior Chery (Mirebalais University Hospital (Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health))
A Mixed Method Study Investigating Suicidality in Haiti
• Mary Clisbee (Mirebalais University Hospital (Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health))
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices: COVID-19 in Rural Haiti
• Kobel Dubique (Mirebalais University Hospital (Zanmi Lasante/Partners In Health))

Break

2:45pm – 4:00pm – Concurrent Session 3

[F3A] Financing for Development in Haiti
Room: Pòtoprens
Chair: Marc Cohen (Oxfam)
Discussant: Kysseline Jean-Mary Chérestal (Attorney)
Vers une autonomisation des communes pour une décentralisation effective : le cas de LOKAL+
• Tonny Joseph (Independent scholar)
Yon sèl dwèt pa manje kalalu: Social Norms and Tax Compliance
• Benjamin Krause (University of California Berkeley)
Remittances to Haiti
• Manuel Orozco (Inter-American Dialogue/Creative Associates International)

[F3B] Apport de l’altmétrie et de la bibliométrie dans la performance scientifique des universités du Sud : Etude de cas en Haïti
Room: Okap
Chair: Jasmine Césars (Université Quisqueya)
Utilisation des indicateurs altmétriques et bibliométriques pour mesurer la productivité scientifique dans les sciences de la vie et de la terre d’une université haïtienne : première approche
• Magline Alexis (Université Quisqueya)
Mesure de la productivité scientifique des chercheurs en sciences économiques et gestion : le cas d’une université en Haïti
• Youselee Joseph (Université Quisqueya)
Dégrée d’utilisation des indicateurs altmétriques et bibliométriques dans la mesure de la productivité scientifique dans les pays en développement : Etude de cas des structures de recherche d’une université haïtienne
• Edelin Lucene Mangnan (Université Quisqueya)

[F3C] A Conversation about Alyssa Sepinwall’s ‘Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games’ (UPM, 2021)
Room: Okay
Chair: Hadassah Saint-Hubert (Independent Scholar)
• Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)
• Claudy Delné (Independent Scholar)
• Celucien Joseph (Indian River State College)
Respondent
• Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall (California State University – San Marcos)

[F3D] Caring for the Public
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Amanda Pinheiro*
Cesarean Wound Care after Hospital Discharge: A Qualitative Study in Rural Haiti
• Elizabeth Campa (University of Global Health Delivery-Haiti)
• Bethany Hedt-Gauthier (Harvard University)
• Hannah Gilbert (Harvard University)
• Mary Clisbee (University of Global Health Delivery)
Zanmi Lasante: Liberation Praxis in Health Care that Disrupts the Coloniality of Humanitarian Power
• Alison Lutz (Church Divinity School of the Pacific)
Rethinking Haiti in International Law and Diplomacy: Lessons learned from the UN and the Haiti Cholera Case
• Mulry Mondélice (Royal Military College Saint-Jean and Sherbrooke University Faculty of Law.)

[F3E] What’s working in Haitian Education: Failure–>Success in the Primary Grades
Room: Mibalè
Chair: Alix Cantave (W.K.Kellogg Foundation)
• Nedgine Paul Deroly (Anseye Pou Ayiti)
• Cassandre Regnier (Summits Education)
• Josiane Hudicourt-Barnes (Lakou Kajou)
• Chris Low (Matènwa Community Learning Center)

[F3F] Regional Development Efforts
Room: Aken
Chair: Ervin Julius*
Lighting Up the Home in the Time of COVID-19
• Karen Richman (University of Notre Dame)
• Stanley Mathurin (Independent Scholar)
Rural Network Ties: Mapping the Spread of Community-Based Agroforestry and its Outcomes in the Latibonit Region of Haiti
• Gloria Blaise (Cornell University)
• Shorna Allred (Cornell University)
• Stephen Morreale (Cornell University)
• Gen Meredith (Cornell University)
Rebuilding the City, Rebuilding Citizenship: Participative Planning in Martissant
• Vincent Joos (Florida State University)

4:00pm – 5:00pmEmerging Scholars Mixer
Room: Anba Tonèl


Saturday, October 23, 2021

10:00am – 11:15am – Concurrent Session 4

[S4A] Rechèch Aksyon pou chanje sistèm ONG- Gid pou èd imanitè
Room: Pòtoprens
Chair: Mark Schuller (Northern Illinois University)
• K. Jessica Hsu (Independent Scholar)
• Ilionor Louis (Faculté d’Ethnologie)
• Elkins Voltaire (Faculté d’Ethnologie)

[S4B] Impact of COVID-19
Room: Okap
Chair: arlène Dubuisson*
Vulnérabilité et précarité en période de covid 19
• Bernadin Larrieux (Université d’Etat d’Haiti / Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers(CNAM)/Université de Sherbrooke)
• Bien -Aimé Attila (Université d’Etat d’Haiti)
Analyse de la crise socio-politique et de la crise sanitaire au prisme du Covid-19 en Haïti
• Léo D. Pizo Bien-Aimé (Université de Mons et de Liège en partenariat avec l’UE.)

[S4C] Haitian Feminist Methods & Fanm Djanm Scholarship
Room: Okay
Chair: Régine M. Jean-Charles (Northeastern University)
Teaching “Djyaspora” in Museums
• Kantara Souffrant (Illinois State University)
Mémoir as Method: The Personal & Political in Haitian Women Narratives and Pedagogical Practices
• Magda Desgranges (Fairfield University)
Haitian Feminist Art Legacies: Vodou & Fanm Vayann in Babette Wainwright’s Sacred Ceramic Arts
• Kyrah Malika Daniels (Boston College)
The Haitian Arts Digital Crossroads (HADC): Reframing Narratives of Haitian Art by Going Beyond Provenance
• Petrouchka Moise (Grinnell College)

[S4D] Dans quel domaine travaillent les femmes en science à l’Université Quisqueya
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Ketty Balthazard-Accou (Université Quisqueya)
La lutte planétaire contre le changement climatique : Haïti et son engagement dans un concept de remodelage des savoirs scientifiques
• Raymonde Raymond (Université Quisqueya)
Contribution a l’etude diagnostique des parasitoses intestinales, Haïti
• Daphnée Michel (Université Quisqueya)
Microplastiques et santé environnementale : évaluation des risques environnementaux en Haïti
• Daphenide St Louis (Université Quisqueya)
Représentations sociales du stress chez des déplacés climatiques du quartier Nan Orèl, Nord’Ouest d’Haiti
• Ammcise Apply (Université Quisqueya)

[S4E] Queer/kapasite/connaissances: Reading Representations of Queerness, Disability and Madness in Haitian Cultural Production
Room: Mibalè
Chair: Cae Joseph-Massena (University of Miami)
• Cae Joseph-Massena (University of Miami)
• Christian Flaugh (SUNY Buffalo)
• Alex Lenoble (University of South Florida)
• Cécile Accilien (Kennesaw State University)

11:15am – 12:30pm – Plenary session: ‘Haiti in Crisis’ (View Recorded Livestream)
Room: Ayiti
Chair: Chip Carey (Georgia State University)
Haiti’s Crisis and the World Economy
• Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)
Haiti’s Crisis and Dominican Elites
• Robert Fatton (University of Virginia)
Haiti’s Crisis and Impunity
• Anne Fuller (Independent Scholar)
Haiti’s Crisis and Higher Education
• Reynold Verret (Xavier University of Louisiana)

Break

12:45pm – 2:00pm – Concurrent Session 5

[S5A] Le Discours transnational entre dépossession identitaire et mouvance multiculturelle
Room: Pòtoprens
Chair: Celucien Joseph*
Discours transnational : une entrave à l’identité territoriale
• Rodady Gustave (Université de Grenoble, France)
De la colonialité du discours transnational: déconstruction d’un discours racialisé sur les Haïtiens immigrés en République Dominicaine
• Jonel Gustave (Université Paris8 Vincennes, France)
La crise politique haïtienne: Résultante d’un État effrondré, d’une élite en faillite et du néocolonialisme occidental
• Pierre Valéry Béliard (Université de Grenoble, France)

[S5B] Gouvernance pour le développement : capital humain et territoire
Room: Okap
Chair: Gassendy Calice (Université Quisqueya)
Les OMF haïtiennes sont-elles résilientes face aux crises que traversent le pays ?: Une étude de cas
• Ciguino Hubermane (Université Quisqueya)
Gouvernance scolaire et dépenses publiques d’éducation en Haïti de 2005 à 2020
• Gassendy Calice (Université Quisqueya)
La reconnaissance du territoire pour la décentralisation en Haïti
• Ruth Myrtho Casséus

[S5C] Respè, Balanse, Fanmi: A Family, Practitioner, and Scholar Roundtable in Honor of Alourdes Champagne Lovinski (Mama Lola) – Co-sponsored with KOSANBA
Room: Okay
Chair: Lynn Selby (Independent Scholar)
• Georgette Gomez (Practitioner)
• Marsha Champagne (Practitioner)
• Claudine Michel (University of California, Santa Barbara)
• Chelsey Kivland (Dartmouth College)

[S5D] “Haitian history through the voice of Ulrick Jean-Pierre”: Sneak peek screening and moderated discussion with the filmmakers.
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken (Research Center for Material Cultures at NMVW [National Museum for World Cultures], Netherlands)
• Tatiana Bacchus (Filmmaker, Teaspoon & Pound Media)
• Stephanie Malson (Filmmaker, Teaspoon & Pound Media)

[S5E] Music as Self-Expression, Communication, and Connection
Room: Mibalè
Chair: Amanda Pinheiro*
Music Videos as Environmental Activism in a Changing Climate
• Rebecca Dirksen (Indiana University)
• Kendy Vérilus (Independent Filmmaker)
Rap as Essential Literary Reference: The Case of Jean d’Amérique’s “Soleil à coudre”
• Eliana Vagalau (Loyola University Chicago)
Se construire en tant que femme dans le rap haïtien
• Ludia EXANTUS (Université d’État d’Haïti)
• Sandy LAROSE (Université Laval/ Université d’État d’Haïti)

[S5F] Rights and Belonging
Room: Aken
Chair: Ervin Julius*
Deservingness vs. Criminalization: Temporary Protected Status, the Right to Stay, and State Exclusion
• Laura Leisinger (University of South Florida)
The lack of Documentation of Displaced People in Anse-à-Pitres, Haiti: Absent State or Mode of Governance?
• Daniel Joseph (DePauw University)
Child Rights, COVID-19 and Haitian Children
• Aldrie Henry-Lee (UWI)

[S5G] Historicizing the CUNY Haitian Studies Institute: From Vision, Action to Actualization
Room: Pòdepè
Chair: Marie Lily Cerat (CUNY Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College)
• Carole Berotte Joseph (Former President Bronx Community College)
• Margarett Alexandre (York College, CUNY)
• Marie Lily Cerat (CUNY Haitian Studies Institute at Brooklyn College)

2:00pm – 3:15pm – Concurrent Session 6

[S6A] Mouvements populaires et mouvements sociaux, quelle articulation dans un monde en transformation ?
Room: Pòtoprens
Chair: Ervin Julius*
Petrocaribe Challenge : de la place des femmes dans les mobilisations collectives au prisme du genre en Haïti
• Jocelyn Belfort (Université Vincennes Saint-Denis (Paris 8))
Protestation paysanne et zone franche en Haïti : cas du parc industriel de Caracol et de celui de Ouanaminthe
• Reginald David (Université Paul Valery Montpellier 3)
Les modernités alternatives en Haïti : un défi au phénomène de la mondialisation
• Caleb Mac Bernard Dorcé (l’Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis)
Le dispositif épistémique d’intervention au développement durable dans le contexte haïtien
• Domingue Miracle (Groupe d’Intervention pour le Développement Durable [GIDD])

[S6B] Development Logics
Room: Okap
Chair: Kofi M. Mustapha*
Two visions for development: Casimir and Collier on Haiti
• Anna Versluis (Gustavus Adolphus College)
Decreasing US Influence on Haiti’s Agricultural Sector
• Taylor Horn (Miami University (Oxford, Ohio))
Considering Climate Change in the Grand’Anse: Local Perceptions of the Intersections of Environment and Well-Being in the Context of Global Climate Change
• Heather Prentice-Walz (University of California Santa Barbara)

[S6C] Free-ish
Room: Okay
Chair: Alexandra Cenatus*
The Discourse of Sovereignty – Trouillot and his Early Haitian Sources
• Andrew Young (University of Toronto)
Too Soon To Rejoice?: The Battle for Haitian Recognition in the Civil War Era
• Leslie M Alexander (Arizona State University)
Maroon Movements against Empire: The Long Haitian Revolution, 16th-19th Century
• Crystal Eddins (UNC Charlotte)

[S6D] Decolonizing Education: Schooling in Haiti and in the Haitian Diaspora
Room: Jakmèl
Chair: Cheryl Fields-Smith (Georgia State University)
The Journey of a Black Homeschooled, Homeschooling, Home Education Scholar
• Dannielle Joy Davis (Saint Louis University)
Black Family Homeschool Educators and Scholars (BFHES): A Partner for Educational Liberation
• Khadijah Ali-Coleman (Independent Scholar)
La crise politique en Haïti et ses impacts sur la vie universitaire
• Jeff Justin (Université d’État d’Haïti (UEH))

3:15pm – 4:15pm Business meeting
Room: Anba Tonèl

4:15pm – 4:45pmAwards ceremony
Room: Anba Tonèl

Past Conferences, Past Events

Conference Special Events (Oct 21-23, 2021)

Throughout our conference we will have a series of special events: advocacy panels, keynotes, plenaries, social mixers, and more. You can read details about these events on this page. Click here to see our three pre-conference events.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

1:00pm – Advocacy Day Workshop: Sustainable Political Advocacy

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to read more and view recording of livestream.

For starters—what is policy advocacy and how is it different from, and complementary to, political activism? Moreover, working for justice on any issue, including through policy advocacy, is an exhausting process, especially in complex contexts like Haiti. As so many issues are pressing for our time and attention, we risk burnout and being overworked. Learn how to craft an approach to policy advocacy that also acknowledges the need for self-care and maintaining energy for long-term, effective engagement. Attendees will come away with best practices for advocacy and a deeper understanding of various advocacy tools and how to use them.


3:00pm – Advocacy Day Briefing: Disentangling Discourses of Disaster

This event is free and open to the public. Click here to read more and view recording of livestream

As part of a multi-day advocacy effort to bring up-to-date information and analysis from community and civic leaders in Haiti, this public briefing aims to educate and empower scholars, activists, journalists, aid practitioners, and policymakers.

This panel offers timely analyses from a diverse group of leaders on the ground, including the earthquake impacted areas and the U.S. Mexico Border, that explores the common roots of these seemingly separate events, including the international community’s role in the problems. The panel asks hard questions about how to balance the need for a Haitian solution with the still quite urgent need for international assistance.


Friday, October 22, 2021

11:15am – Opening remarks & Keynote Panel

Since 2020, the world has forever changed. The Covid-19 pandemic with its 3 million death toll has left families devastated throughout the world and created major social, political and economic shifts everywhere as well as the need to adapt to new means of communication. It has also been a time of unprecedented worldwide re-awakening and wide ranging protests against racism, white supremacy, state sanctioned violence and unequal life conditions. People of all generations and all creeds and color have rallied to demand justice, stand against oppression of all sorts, and demand respect for human rights worldwide.

2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.

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?

This keynote panel offers an opportunity for a conversation with three people who work full time in Haiti, with one foot in the academic world and another in a host of public engagement. The conference theme – and the current historical moment – demand a new praxis, using Gramscian terminology. What role does scholarship play in solutions?

Panelists:

    • Sabine Lamour
    • Ilionor Louis
    • Evelyne Trouillot

4:00pm – Emerging Scholars Mixer

This mixer is an opportunity for us to reflect and discuss the future direction of emerging scholars. 



Saturday, October 23, 2021

11:15am – Plenary Session: ‘Haiti in Crisis’

Without a doubt, Haiti’s ongoing crisis will reach a nadir in late October 2021. Following his illegitimate election and extraconstitutional hold on power after a bogus constitutional plebiscite, the regime crisis will be reaching a climax of resistance to tyranny. Whether or not liberal institutions or constructivist ideas can overcome power disparities in some contexts, Haiti has always had a “state against the nation” Now independently sanctioned violence has been privatized or subcontracted enforcement. A system of extortion and embezzlement is subtle, but still continuing from the roots of Duvalierism established through the Macoute networks.

While some of the events will be contingent on the vagaries of Fortuna and other catalytic causes, there are some relatively new intermediate and ultimate causes to the effort to resist the Moisean autocracy. The panel will includes several close colleagues who have been discussing Haiti over several decades, as well as some who are closer in age to the majority of those taking to the Haitian street. Each of the panelist will consider a different elements, connecting the ultimate and intermediate causes with the trajectory of whatever the events of October may the directing: economic; constitutional; political; foreign bilateral, foreign multilateral; grass-roots organizing; religious and social movement resistance, police and army abuse of power, public corruption, mass poverty, public health incapacity, leaders’ impunity, morally repugnant elites, etc.
The international community has often failed Haiti. Liberal peacekeeping and peace building by the United Nations, which ended a fifteen-year occupation of Haiti in 2018, has been a very mixed record: preventing coups and — even more importantly for the US which financed the mission — preventing migrants to the US. Yet the UN mission was noted for its sex trafficking and for introducing a cholera epidemic. The UN also demanded impunity for the UN bombing of that same neighborhood, Cite Soleil.

Digitization has made documentation and responsibility for guilt far more accessible for the mass public as well as in elite debates. The effort to control the narrative of events going forward will depend on who owns the ability to control digital presentations. the UN report on the November 2018 La Saline massacre involved close to one-hundred murders (59 officially, United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti 2019). Where “between 25 and 71 people were killed by members of a criminal gang, with complicity with State actors (UN Document S/2019/198 para. 38), a generally unrecognized factor is the huge underclasses in Haiti’s cities, many of whom are desperate migrants originally from the countryside inside their same countries, or they have migrated from one urban to another urban settlement. In Haiti’s poorest sectors have been highly motivated because of mass starvation facing official corruption that was documented in a Parliamentary report. Haiti fits into the world social movement of global civil society, where these violations have been identified by transnational advocacy networks, which include the UN and parts of the US, with foreign researchers teaming up with local memorialization activists and scholars, which this panel analyzes.

Chair: Chip Carey (Georgia State University)
Haiti’s Crisis and the World Economy
• Alex Dupuy (Wesleyan University)
Haiti’s Crisis and Dominican Elites
• Robert Fatton (University of Virginia)
Haiti’s Crisis and Impunity
• Anne Fuller (Independent Scholar)
Haiti’s Crisis and Higher Education
• Reynold Verret (Xavier University of Louisiana)


3:15pm – Business meeting

2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.

Haitian Studies Association has attempted to step up and fulfill our responsibility to make our reservoir of knowledge accessible to journalists, activists, and policymakers, convoking timely conversations. In addition to the monthly Zoom meetings, among other things arising from last year’s Town Hall, we have defined a Town Hall Strategy that centers decolonization of Haitian Studies, and we had a brainstorm to respond to the urgent crisis along the border. Please join your fellow members and reflect on the results of our efforts, and more importantly, help define the road ahead and get us moving on the next steps.


4:15pm – Awards ceremony

This year, H.S.A. will present the following awards and recognitions:

Award for Service

The Award for Service is presented to a person or organization in recognition of years of dedication and service to the Haitian Studies Association, the field of Haitian Studies, or to the people of Haiti.

Haiti Book Prize

The Haitian Studies Association’s biennial Haiti Book Prize is awarded to the best single-authored book in Haitian studies in the social sciences, with broad application beyond the academy.

Emerging Scholars Award

HSA established the Student and Emerging Scholars’ fund to support student research and participation in our annual conference. This award recognizes undergraduate and graduate scholars.

Michel Rolph Trouillot Award

The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Fund was started in 2012 to expand participation in HSA among Haiti-based academic and public scholars, artists, and professionals who might not be able to attend the conference without financial assistance.

Past Conferences, Past Events

Pre-Conference Events: Working Groups (Oct 16-20, 2021)

In the week leading up to our annual conference, our three Working Groups are hosting their own sessions to discuss their projects. You can see more of our conference events here.
Click here to see our conference special events.


 

Working Group – Archives

Archives and Public Memory in Haiti and the Diaspora

Saturday, October 16, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT

This event is open to Conference Attendees and Group Members. Conference Attendees and Group Members are already registered and will receive their join link prior to the event start.

The Archives and Public Memory working group seeks to serve as a generative, collaborative space that will provide practical resources for archivists, library workers, and cultural heritage workers of all kinds (whether institutionally-based or community-based), academic researchers, policymakers, grassroots organizers, journalists, and others. Our primary goal is to enable people in Haiti and the diaspora to be aware of and access existing archives, and to provide knowledge and resources to preserve, store, and catalogue archival collections.

Conveners:

  • Elizabeth Pierre-Louis (FOKAL)
  • Frederick Mangones (Independent Architect)
  • Hadassah St Hubert (Independent Scholar)
  • Laura Wagner (Former Radio Haiti Project Archivist at Duke University)


Working Group – Environment

The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis

Tuesday, October 19, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm EDT

This event is open to Conference Attendees and Group Members. Conference Attendees and Group Members are already registered and will receive their join link prior to the event start.

On boarding the ship to his captivity in 1802, Toussaint L’Ouverture delivered a characterization of liberty that would become famous: its roots are many and deep. In the 217 years since Haiti’s independence, the nation’s liberty has been challenged, its roots entangled with invasive species, likewise many and deep. This meeting of HSA’s Working Group on the Environment (Konbit) will present the multidisciplinary perspectives of five scholars and activists. After introductory remarks—presenters’ names and affiliations and discussion ground rules—each of the five presenters will make a statement of no more than five minutes in order to allow maximum time for comments, questions, and discussion with attendees. The meeting will end with an announcement from our blog/vlog team about the progress of that effort, and with suggested ways for all to become involved.

Presenters:

  • Marc Prou (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
  • Evens Emmanuel (Inivèsite Kiskeya)
  • Gary Gervais (University of Puerto Rico)
  • Jodany Fortuné (University of Puerto Rico)
  • Karen Richman (University of Notre Dame) & Stanley Mathurin (United States Army)


Working Group – Sexualities

The Rights to Live Creatively

Wednesday, October 20, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

This event is free & open to the public. Conference Attendees and Group Members are already registered and do not need to register again. Click here to register.

As the first official convening of the HSA Sexualities Working Group, this event builds on “The Rights to Live Creatively,” a series of conversations and roundtables we facilitated in Fall 2020. We gather to share knowledge and galvanize our commitments, interests, and labor. The first hour of this meeting will feature presentations by Haiti-based community organizers Merlin Jean and Vadson Nicholas, Directors of Cap Haitien-based human rights organization Heritage; Sandy Pierre, Community Activist of Organisation Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti (ORAH); and Soeurette Policar, Executive Director of Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté (ODELPA). In the second hour, we will move into conversation and action planning with all attendees. What are the stakes of “living creatively” in Haiti at this moment? How might we build transnational solidarity projects together?

Sexualities Working Group co-conveners:
  • Josué Azor
  • Dasha A. Chapman
  • Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper
  • Mario LaMothe

Featuring Community Organizers:

  • Merlin Jean (Heritage)
  • Vadson Nicholas (Heritage)
  • Sandy Pierre (Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti)
  • Soeurette Policar (Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté

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Opportunities

Vassar College – Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies (Oct. 15, 2021)

Tenure Track

The Department of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position, beginning Fall 2022.

Vassar is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college of about 2400 undergraduates (no graduate students) located in the beautiful and historic Hudson Valley seventy-five miles north of New York City. The city of Poughkeepsie benefits from rich cultural diversity and from convenient commuter rail access to New York City. Vassar faculty are committed teachers/scholars who bring research and creative discovery to life for students in classrooms, labs, and studios and in individually mentored projects. They teach broadly in the curricula of their departments, advise students, and serve on college-wide and departmental committees. The College maintains a generous leave policy, provides strong support for research, and encourages multidisciplinary approaches to teaching.

We seek candidates with expertise in pre-1800 studies with a focus in ecocriticism and/or performance studies, combined with one or more of the following areas of specialization: New World Studies, Atlantic Studies, Migration Studies, and Visual Studies. The successful candidate will teach French language courses at all levels as well as courses focusing on pre-1800 studies. The candidate will also be able to teach in one or more of following Multidisciplinary programs, such as: Environmental Studies, Medieval/Renaissance Studies, Africana Studies, or the Consortium on Forced Migration. Excellence in teaching and evidence or clear promise of scholarship are essential.

Past Conferences, Past Events

Be a part of the solution – Join H.S.A. and partners in Advocacy Day (October 21, 2021)

Vin pote kole pou solisyon an – Rejwenn Asosyasyon Etid Ayisyen nan Jounen Pledwari a (21 oktòb, 2021)


These events were part of the Haitian Studies Association’s 33rd Annual Conference “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”.



English

Kreyòl


2021 has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for the world’s first free Black republic: in addition to COVID and its economic crisis, Haitian people have faced a constitutional crisis, state-sanctioned violence and human rights violations – both in Haiti and along the U.S.-Mexico border – the assassination of the president, two earthquakes and a deadly hurricane with several more months in the hurricane season extended because of climate change.

Haitian Studies Association has attempted to step up and fulfill our responsibility to make our reservoir of knowledge accessible to journalists, activists, and policymakers, convoking timely conversations. If you haven’t already done so, please register for Monday’s emergency brainstorming with Haitian Bridge Alliance on what to do about the situation on the border, 8 p.m. Eastern.

This conversation continues – we invite you to join H.S.A. and partners American Jewish World Service, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University, the Haiti Advocacy Working Group, Haiti Response Coalition, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the North American Congress on Latin America, for Advocacy Day – Thursday, October 21.

Advocacy Day begins with a Workshop on Sustainable Advocacy Strategies from 1-2:30 Eastern. Learn how to craft an approach to policy advocacy that also acknowledges the need for self-care and maintaining energy for long-term, effective engagement. Attendees will come away with best practices for advocacy and a deeper understanding of various advocacy tools and how to use them.

Following this is a public Briefing, Disentangling Discourses of Disaster, 3-5 p.m. Eastern. This panel offers timely analyses from a diverse group of leaders on the ground, including the earthquake impacted areas and the U.S. Mexico Border, that explores the common roots of these seemingly separate events, including the international community’s role in the problems. The panel asks hard questions about how to balance the need for a Haitian solution with the still quite urgent need for international assistance.

Both events are free and open to the public, as the lead-up to H.S.A.’s Annual Conference, “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis.” Day rates are available for participants.

Click here to register for the conference. As a reminder, all presenters must be registered by Monday September 27.

Nou la pi rèd toujou!

The Haitian Studies Association