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”.
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?
- Sabine Lamour
- Ilionor Louis
- Evelyne Trouillot
- 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?
- If you experience a conflict in these roles, how do you resolve them?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?