Haitian Studies Association


General Conference Information

In order to assist participants and attendees, we have put together this document to help you prepare.

Note: This page will be updated as we get more information.

Conference Theme

Ayiti se tè glise illuminates the notion that Haiti is an eternally shifting landscape. Haitians continuously move within their nation and also migrate to diasporic spaces. This adage also alludes to conflicting paradigms for Haitians in and beyond Haiti as they negotiate various cultural identities and navigate their liminality. 

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Conference Registration

Conference registration is open. Presenters and attendees must register in order to participate and attend the conference events. The final deadline for all presenters to register is September 15th. Anyone who is not registered by September 10th will be removed from the program.

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Conference Program

We have updated our conference program.

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Keynote Speaker: Dr. Leslie Alexander

The Cradle of Hope: How Haitian Independence Inspired the Birth of Black Internationalism in the United States

Haiti’s emergence as a free, sovereign nation lit a beacon of hope for Black people across the African diaspora during the nineteenth century. In this talk, Leslie Alexander chronicles how Haitian sovereignty shaped Black political consciousness in the United States, especially among those demanding freedom. For them, Haiti was their “cradle of hope”—the only nation on earth where Black people could live free and equal. All their dreams for the global Black freedom struggle rested on Haiti’s shoulders, prompting free and enslaved Black people in the United States to wage an unyielding battle to defend Haiti and its sovereignty. In so doing, they gave birth to a new Black internationalist consciousness—one that not only demanded an end to slavery, but also insisted on full freedom, equality, and sovereignty for Black people throughout the African diaspora.

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Conference Location

The HSA Conference will be held in person in Atlanta, Georgia October 5-8th, 2023 at the historical campus of Morehouse College. The Conference itself will be at Morehouse on October 5-7th, with additional programming on the morning of October 8th at Kennesaw State University (shuttle transportation will be provided between the conference hotel and KSU).

View Morehouse College Campus Map & Key Conference Locations

Also, HSA will be held jointly with Kosanba this year (founded in 1997, Kosanba is the scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou and Africana religious traditions). Kosanba will meet prior to the HSA conference also at Morehouse College on October 4th (with additional panels held in conjunction with HSA on October 5th). Additionally, there will be a number of other related events in Atlanta during the conference.

Related Events During Our Conference

Kosanba 2023 Colloquium XIV: The Kalfou & the Lakou: Vodou & Africana Religious Crossroads

Dates: Oct. 5th – 8th, 2023

Held in conjunction with the 35th Haitian Studies Association Conference in Morehouse College.

KOSANBA’s 14th Conference, Pan-Africanism at the Kalfou: Vodou & Africana Religions at the Crossroads, encourages exploration of Pan-Africanism, the belief that all people of African descent share common interests and should be unified in their political, socio-cultural, and spiritual ventures. Examining Pan-Africanism as a crossroads urges us to consider the relational politics existing between African religious traditions and their cultural communities.

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Dancing the Sacred Crossroads: Embodied Arts of Haiti

Date: Oct. 6th, 2023

Free and Open to the Public

Uniting the KOSANBA conference theme of Kalfou and the HSA theme of Ayiti se tè glise, this program presents the wisdom of the Haitian performing body as itself a crossroads and portal for transformation, navigation, and stability within in/stabilities. The evening centers embodied knowledge and the Haitian Kreyòl concept of kase (or “break”) in a reframing of our understandings of Haitian artistry and sacred ritual, Haiti and diaspora, crisis and resiliency. Internationally-known performers, scholars, and spiritual leaders consider the kase across multiple dimensions: dance, song, drumming, film, scholarly text, and discussion.

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Embodying In/Betweenness Afro-Caribbean Arts and Cultures

Date: Oct. 8th, 2023

HSA’s Sunday events will take place at Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman Museum of Art in relation to the exhibition {UNDER}flow, which features works by five Afro-Caribbean artists: Josué Azor, Firelei Báez, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, David Antonio Cruz, Didier William. The day will include a gallery tour, panel discussion, lunch, and a talk by one of the artists!

Shuttle service will be provided from Hyatt Regency Atlanta to KSU in the morning. For departures, shuttles for the hotel and airport will depart KSU twice, once at lunch time and again following the Cruz lecture.

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Scholarships & Awards Nominations

Emerging Scholars Committee Message to Conference Attendees

The Emerging Scholars committee is dedicated to the development and support of new generations of scholars of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. We coordinate mentorship events and advocate for the particular concerns of students and emerging scholars with the association.


To ensure both safety and convenience for our members, we are glad to report that the Hyatt Regency Atlanta will serve as our hotel headquarters, offering a rate of $195 (plus taxes) for the nights on Oct 4th and Oct 5th and a rate of $189 (plus taxes) for Oct 6th and 7th. The rate is per night for a room with two queen beds; the hotel will charge $25 extra per person for triple or quadruple occupancy.

Note that the block of rooms reserved for HSA is more limited than in other years due to a large business conference happening in Atlanta the same weekend. Therefore, we recommend that you book your hotel at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta as soon as possible; the rooms will go fast.

We have also negotiated a special rate the Hyatt Place Atlanta/Downtown which is 3 minutes walking distance from the Hyatt Regency for additional rooms.

Please note that this special rate is only guaranteed until September 14th. 

Travel & Transportation in Atlanta

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is the principal public transport operator in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The hotel is approximately two miles from Morehouse College, accessible via MARTA (5-minute walk to the train). MARTA will also take you from the airport directly to a station located at the Hyatt Regency.

Letters of Acceptance & Visa Support

Acceptance emails were sent out on June 18th and are considered the formal letter of acceptance and invitation to the conference. The acceptance emails also included signed PDFs in both English & French if they are needed.

HSA policy on Visa request – Each participant is responsible for securing any visa they may need to enter the United States whether directly or in transit through another country. Unfortunately, HSA is not in a position to assist with visa interviews or intervening with the embassy on your behalf. Nor are we in a position to ask that your appointment date be changed.

We are able to provide a letter to the US Consulate indicating your participation at the conference if your paper has been accepted. Those who noted in their abstract that they needed a visa should have received the support letter on June 26th. If you are a presenter and need one, please let us know.