Haitian Studies Association

Announcements & Statements

The Haitian Studies Association is proud to celebrate Juneteenth!

The Haitian Studies Association is proud to celebrate Juneteenth! Today is the 156th anniversary of the emancipation of the last enslaved people held in bondage in Galveston, TX — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation; and two months after the end of the Civil War. The recognition of June 19 as a federal holiday is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans, acknowledge the suffering of Black peoples everywhere and to reflect on the unending struggle for Black liberation that began in Haiti in 1791 when the enslaved made a pact to live free or die.

H.S.A stands in solidarity with everyone committed to producing more honest and complete accounts of our histories and those working for policies that advance social justice and acknowledge the humanity of Black people throughout the diaspora. As people of African descent, in spite of our differences (language, culture, or geography) we are connected by a common history. Our ancestors came to the Americas in shackles and have continuously fought for our freedom. This new national holiday must be more than a symbol, but a call for meaningful societal change.

Announcements & Statements, Conference

Haitian Studies Association Book Prize (2021) – Call for Submissions

See Previous Years’ Recipients of the Book Prize »

Recipients of the 2019 book prize

The Haitian Studies Association announces its biennial Book Prize. The 2021 Prize will be awarded to the best single-authored book in Haitian Studies in the social sciences, with broad application beyond the academy, published between September 2019 and August 2021. Anthologies and edited volumes do not qualify.

The HSA invites nominations from its membership, and submissions by authors and publishers. The submission form needs to be filled out on the HSA webpage by July 1st 2021. The books need to be received at the latest by July 15th, 2021.

Authors or publishers are asked to provide three copies of their book to the Chair of the Book Prize Committee. Address will be provided once you complete the submission form below.

The Haitian Studies Book Prize will carry a cash award of US $1,000.00.

The Award will be announced at HSA’s 33rd annual Conference in Washington, D.C, USA, October 21-23rd 2021.

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PDFs, Upcoming Events

Town Hall Update (online event): ‘Decolonizing Haitian Studies’ (June 26, 2021)

As a follow-up to members’ priorities expressed at the 2020 Town Hall meeting, our June event will focus on the problem of coloniality in the field of Haitian Studies and our strategy to decolonize the HSA. All are invited to hear from scholars examining the question of decolonization from the standpoint of their respective disciplines and research interests. We will consider the dynamics of knowledge production, alongside issues of global inequality and anti-blackness, language, ethical collaboration, citational politics and other research practices within the interdisciplinary field of Haitian Studies.

Finally, we will describe the status of our Open Access database, a digital archive which aims to provide free access to scholarship by HSA members.

Read H.S.A.’s ‘Town Hall Response Strategy’ (PDF)

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Upcoming Events, Working Group - Environment

Documentary Screening: ‘Men Sa Lanmè Di’ with Q&A with Filmmaker & Marine Scientist (July 17, 2021)

Painting of Lasirenn by Sergey Geffrard (1988), photographed by LeGrace Benson

View Trailer

The Haitian Studies Association presents Arnold Antonin’s film Men Sa Lanmè Di (Thus Spoke the Sea in Engish, Ainsi parla la mer in French), Saturday, July 17, 2021, at 4 pm EDT. This virtual event is organized by the H.S.A. Working Group on the Environment. A discussion with filmmaker Arnold Antonin, and marine scientist Jean Wiener, who appears in the film, will follow the screening.

49 minutes, Haitian Kreyòl with English subtitles.

Antonin released Men Sa Lanmè Di in 2020. From its trailer text: “The Haitian Sea as you’ve never seen or heard it before. In this documentary, the Sea tells its story with the Haitian people. Wave after wave, the Sea showcases its riches, reveals its mysteries, and raises the alarm. From the excessive use of its resources to the consequences of climate change and pollution, the Sea displays its different shades of blue and suggests opportunities to seize. This film is an invitation to travel, discover, and also to raise awareness. Haiti’s future lies in its coasts or will not be.”

Directed by Arnold Antonin, script by Gary Victor, narration by Gessica Généus, music by BIC. With the support of the Haitian Ministry of the Environment, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Kingdom of Norway, the European Union, and the Centre Pétion-Bolivar.

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Announcements & Statements, PDFs

Town Hall Response Strategy (2021)

Read H.S.A.’s ‘Town Hall Response Strategy’ (PDF)

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

Moments such as the current intersectional crisis 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 Haitian Studies Conference was an opportunity for conversations across advocacy NGOs, policymakers, and international institutions who will benefit from the reservoir of interdisciplinary knowledge that HSA has been filling for over 30 years. How did we do? How can we evaluate ourselves individually and collectively? What role should HSA be playing? How do we get there?

The Town Hall provided members with an opportunity to deliberate on these urgent questions about individual, collective, and organization praxis.

The membership was organized into randomly assigned breakout rooms. Each breakout group discussed the below questions for 20 minutes and then reported back on each question individually.

1. What is Haitian Studies’ relationship to Black Studies? To ethnic studies overall? Or is Haitian Studies area studies? As board member Nadège Clitandre inspires us, Haitian Studies informs global studies. Do we, as an association, need to come to clarity about our identity? How do we signal this to the outside world?

2. Given the changes in higher education as an institution, with the evisceration of funding exasperated by COVID, scholarly associations such as ours need to adapt quickly. What should HSA be doing? (when we get to the larger group discussion, we will be asking about how to establish priorities)

3. How does HSA facilitate truly interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration? Does it? What can be done better?

4. How does HSA facilitate activism and real-world engagement? Does it? What can be done better? What barriers do you see to this engagement? How can we as an association overcome or undercut them?

With the results of these conversations, the Haitian Studies Association has developed a strategic plan to guide us forward:

I. Create A Statement About Haitian Studies’ Relationship To Other Similar Interdisciplinary Fields Of Study, Namely, Black Studies, Global Studies, And Caribbean Studies.

II. Establish An Open-Access Platform Of Recent Haitian Studies Publications.

III. Implement A Comprehensive Mentorship Program As Part Of Emerging Scholars’ Programming.

IV. Create A Decolonizing Haiti Syllabus Project

V. Create A Permanent Haiti Outreach Committee

VI. Implement Monthly Events

You can read our ‘Town Hall Response Strategy’, which details the takeaways from our conversations and our plans on how to accomplish the above here (PDF).


Call for papers 2021: “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Embodying a New Praxis”

Apèl Pou Prezantasyon 2021: “Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Annou Bay fòm nouvo pratik-teyori jarèt”

Nou La Pi Rèd Toujou! Élaborons une nouvelle praxis




October 21-23, 2021

Washington, DC

Submit your proposal NOW!

The world has forever changed in the course of the past year. 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.

In Haiti and throughout the world, people are protesting against neoliberal austerity, state corruption, the shift to authoritarianism, unbridled repression and racism. This past year will go down in recent Haitian history as one of the most tumultuous and difficult years for the people of Haiti. 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.

Our 32nd annual conference was held on-line in October 2020. This year the 33nd 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 local and international 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. Nou la, epi nap la toujou! (We are here, and we will still be here!)

The H.S.A. 2021 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.

Deadline for regular sessions (not to be considered for plenaries) is June 14.


We encourage fully-constituted 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 October 1 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 May 31st.

Plenary proposals that are not selected for this conference will be considered for the June 14 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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. Those that are not blinded will be automatically rejected and not sent 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. After the second submission, the portal will not accept any additional proposals. 


Registration will begin July 15, 2021. All presenters must be members of HSA to present, must register and pay by September 1, 2021 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

Decisions regarding acceptance of presentations will be announced by July 15, 2021.

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.



Call for papers 2021: Submissions Portal

Call for papers / Apèl Pou Prezantasyon

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Past Events, Photos & Videos, Videos

Current realities regarding the gains of Haiti’s 1987 constitution (May 18)

“Aktyalite aki demokratik konstitisyon 1987 yo”



See Livestream Video (English)

Tuesday, May 18, 4 :00 EDT (Haitian Flag Day)
Moderator: François Pierre-Louis

Participants :

  • Chantal Hudicourt-Ewald
  • Danièle Magloire
  • Georges Michel
  • Lucien Prophète
  • Jean Eddy Saint Paul

One of the most current issues in Haiti is a referendum scheduled for June 27 for a new constitution called for by the current state. The proposed constitution involves a series of changes.

This panel will discuss the legacy and stakes of the constitution of March 29, 1987, a national consensus after the fall of Duvalier in 1986. The 1987 constitution was written in a very specific context, to implant democracy and human rights. This panel will analyze the gains of the 1987 constitution in today’s context, comparing it with the proposed constitution, asking a range of questions for engaged Haitian citizens to make an informed decision.

Past Events

Screening: “Stateless” A film by Michèle Stephenson (April 24)

Followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Michèle Stephenson

View Trailer



Date & Time: April 24th 1:00 PM PST / 4:00 PM EDT

The screening will be moderated by April Mayes, author of The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race and Dominican National Identity


In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army, based on anti-black hatred fomented by the Dominican government. Fast-forward to 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929. The ruling rendered more than 200,000 people stateless, without nationality, identity or a homeland. In this dangerous climate, a young attorney named Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice. Director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary Stateless traces the complex tributaries of history and present-day politics, as state-sanctioned racism seeps into mundane offices, living room meetings, and street protests. At a time when extremist ideologies are gaining momentum in the U.S. and around the world, STATELESS is a warning of what can happen in a society when racism runs rampant in the government.

Filmed with a chiaroscuro effect and richly imbued with elements of magical realism, STATELESS combines gritty hidden-camera footage with the legend of a young woman fleeing brutal violence to flip the narrative axis, revealing the depths of institutionalized oppression.


As co-founding member of the Rada Film Group, filmmaker, artist, and author Michèle Stephenson draws from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and international experience as a human-rights attorney to tell provocative stories in a variety of media that speak to personal and systemic liberation. Her work has appeared on numerous broadcast and web platforms, including PBS, Showtime, and MTV. Her most recent film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, including Best Documentary and Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story. The film also won the Jury Prize at Sundance, and was selected for the New York Film Festival’s Main Slate Program. Stephenson was recently awarded the Creative Capital Fellowship and the Anonymous Was a Woman Award, as well as the inaugural Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She is also a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Her current feature-documentary work in progress is supported by the National Film Board of Canada and the Sundance Documentary Fund. Her community-engagement accomplishments include the PUMA BritDoc Impact Award for a Film with the Greatest Impact on Society and a Revere Award nomination from the Association of American Publishers. She is a fellow of the Skoll Stories of Change initiative and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Her recent book, Promises Kept, written with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. (1/21)

Institutions interested in purchasing the film or scheduling a screening may do so at Women Make Movies.

Announcements & Statements, Journal of Haitian Studies

Letter from the editors of the Journal of Haitian Studies

Dear HSA members,

We write to provide some important announcements regarding the Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS), which you are entitled to receive as part of your membership, and apologize for the delays in producing and distributing recent issues.

As for everyone, the past year has been difficult for the journal. In addition to the challenges posed by the COVID crisis, which has heavily impacted our staff, editorial board, contributors, and reviewers, we underwent a departmental reorganization that resulted in a complicated transition as the journal moved to a different research unit. These factors, together with the ongoing closure of our campus offices, posed significant disruptions to our operations throughout the year. We apologize for any problems caused by the resulting delays, especially for those of you who submitted articles to us.

JOHS is now part of the Haitian Studies and Engaged Scholarship projects housed at the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research (ISBER) at UC Santa Barbara, and we look forward to a brighter year ahead. Now that the dust is settling on our move, we are pleased to share the following updates:

1) We have launched a new system for HSA members to receive the journal electronically: the issues published during your membership period are now available on-demand at https://www.haitianstudies.org/journal-of-haitian-studies/johs-issues/.

You will need to log in using the credentials given when you enrolled as an HSA member; there’s a link to reset your password if you do not remember it. If you are having any problems with your log in, please contact haitianstudiesassociation@gmail.com

2) The journal has a new website and contact information! Please update your contacts and bookmarks.

Website: https://haitianstudies.ucsb.edu/journal-of-haitian-studies/about

Journal email: JOHS@haitianstudies.ucsb.edu

Email for Rose Elfman, managing editor: relfman@ucsb.edu

Website for Haitian Studies projects at UCSB: https://haitianstudies.ucsb.edu

3) New policy on abstracts: In an effort to ensure that new ideas circulate productively between Haiti, the United States, and the other countries represented by our readership, we are now requiring that all published articles include abstracts in at least two of the journal’s primary languages (English, French, and Kreyòl). See the submission guidelines for full details.

4) We remain unable to print and mail hard copies of the journal while our campus is closed, but once the COVID situation allows us to return, we will contact you about the possibilities for receiving print editions of the journal issues produced during your membership period.

If you have any questions, please contact Rose Elfman at relfman@ucsb.edu. We are grateful for your patience and continued support, and we extend our best wishes to you for health, safety, and peace of mind in these difficult times.

—The Editors

Announcements & Statements, Working Groups

Call for proposals – H.S.A. Working Groups (2021)




Last year the H.S.A. piloted Working Sessions, to great enthusiasm from our members. The five live webinars from three Working Sessions were well attended, and generated interest to keep this series of bottom-up interdisciplinary spaces going.

Members like you have asked for new ways of connecting, being involved, and many of you have expressed the desire to make our collective scholarship relevant to conversations in policymaking, philanthropy, and legislation regarding Haiti. We know that cultivating a diverse and inclusive scholarly community, a lakou, is one of the ongoing strengths of our association. Working Groups will both build on this strength and foster more engaged scholarship.

Last year’s pilot experience with Working Sessions has shown us that synchronous, online events can work for members, who expressed a strong desire for more regular events this year. We also learned about the process, sharpened our focus, and reminded of the still very pronounced digital divide regarding our colleagues in Haiti.

We envision the Working Groups to be:

1. “Incubators” for themes and further scholarly engagement in our annual conference, particularly underrepresented groups and topics.

2. Interdisciplinary opportunities for member collaboration for collective research projects between annual conferences, particularly engaging our members in Haiti.

3. Spaces for engagement with specific publics currently underserved by H.S.A., including activists, artists, journalists, nonprofits/NGOs, and policymakers, and particularly engaging our members in Haiti.

4. Hubs for publication and dissemination of engaged scholarship in multiple and creative forms.

With this in mind H.S.A. is launching longer-term Working Groups, and invites members to submit a Working Group for up to three years.
Guidelines for Working Groups are as follows:

● Calls for conveners and participants for working groups as well as the selection process will occur and conclude before the calls for plenaries and regular proposals for the annual conference.

● Involvement with a working group doesn’t exclude members’ participation in regular concurrent sessions and plenary presentations.

● An individual may only submit one (1) application as the convener or co-convener of a Working Group. Multiple applications listing the same individual will not be considered.

● Full consideration will be given to applications with the most innovative and strongest vision, objectives, deliverables, and timeline.

● Up to four conveners with complementary expertise and experiences can steer a working group. This information may be helpful to evaluate proposals and consequently, HSA’s regular blind review process may not apply to this initiative.

● Working Groups need to have a clear deliverable, a scholarly publication in whatever appropriate form, with plans for accessibility that include open access and multiple languages.

● Working Groups need to have a clear evaluation plan and a realistic timeline and detailed set of expectations from HSA (e.g., web hosting, communication with members, Zoom platform, and staff time).

● Selection and number of participants is at the conveners’ discretion. A cross-section of multilingual and intergenerational HSA members is highly recommended.

● The board of directors will approve up to eight proposals to launch the initiative.

● Working Groups with an “admission” process must detail their selection criteria in their proposal to the board. HSA will provide support and guidance on how to send a call for participation.

● Once selected, conveners determine how to follow up with participants. The board and program committee will stay out of that communication process with participants but can provide guidance and advice if necessary.

If you have any questions, please reach out to haitianstudiesassociation@gmail.com.

If interested, please submit here by Monday, April 5.

Conveners will be notified of decisions the week of April 12.

Past Events, Videos

Understanding Haiti’s contemporary “crisis” and solidarity politics (Mar. 20)

Konprann ‘kriz’ aktyèl Ayiti ak politik solidarite



Understanding Haiti’s contemporary “crisis” and solidarity politics

See Roundtable Video (English)

Co-sponsored by North American Congress on Latin America, Ayibopost, and  LACC’s US Department of Education Title VI Grant

  • Saturday, March 20, 2021
  • 4-6 p.m. EDT

Roundtable moderated by Mamyrah Dougé-Prosper and Mark Schuller


  • Mehdi Chalmers, Trois-Cent-Soixante
  • Dr. James Darbouze, ALASO and FSPVA
  • Guerline Jozef, director, Haitian Bridge Alliance
  • Dr. Sabine Lamour, sociologist and director, SOFA
  • Samuel Nesner, former coordinator with KJM (Mining Justice Collective)
  • Dr. Djems Olivier, geographer
  • Ninaj Raoul, coordinator, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees

This event will be held in Haitian Kreyòl and simultaneously interpreted in English and Spanish.

Haiti has garnered front-page attention since February 7, when President Jovenel Moïse’s term expired. Rather than signal support for democracy in its oldest neighbor, newly inaugurated President Biden’s first words and actions continued U.S. support for Moïse. The Biden administration also deported almost as many Haitians in one month as Trump did all last year.

What’s happening on the ground in Haiti? How can people – in the Diaspora and our friends in countries around the world – engage in effective solidarity action?

This launch of the latest issue of the NACLA Report offers a series of grounded perspectives to not only reflect on Haiti’s contemporary situation as it unfolds, but also hopefully to inspire a more principled, informed, and engaged solidarity politics. Linked by history and the global racial economy, struggles in Haiti and in the United States are manifestations of an Empire grasping for new strategies as the extractivist paradigm is reaching its natural limit. The current moment requires more active engagement, and for us to see how we are not only connected by particular issues, but also connected to communities that are differently situated along global capitalism’s process of accumulation by appropriation.

Working Groups

Working across Disciplines toward an Environmental Understanding for Haiti

Konbit miltidisiplinè pou konesans anviwònman ann Ayiti

“Devastated Landscape,” Henry Nickson, Cap Haitian, 2003, courtesy Elizabeth Deloughry. Photo by Jon Ries.


The recently convened working group (konbit) on the environment of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA) held its first public presentation at HSA’s 32nd Annual Conference, “Nou La Pi Rèd! Embodying a New Praxis.” The presentation took place in virtual webinar format on the Zoom platform, with live streaming to Facebook, on October 7th. Speakers across disciplines ranging from environmental sciences and agriculture to religion and musicology but with a common interest in the past, present, and future of Haiti’s ecosystems presented problems and perspectives from their research and application. LeGrace Benson moderated. Presenters included Marc Cohen, Evens Emmanuel, Gerdès Fleurant, Ellie Happel, and Jean Wiener. Karen Richman provided a summary, and Rebecca Dirksen announced the Journal of Haitian Studies special issue on the environment. We thank HSA—especially President Mark Schuller, Julio Perez Centeno, and Darlene Dubuisson—for providing the platform and technical support.

Watch the session on YouTube.

The Konbit membership, currently at fifteen, met virtually on December 1. You may find meeting notes here.

We have created a bibliography on the environment, available for viewing here. This is a work-in-progress, and we intend to transfer it to a database, where items may be searched in a variety of ways. The Konbit also aims to place special emphasis on the work of environmentalists on the ground in Haiti. Suggestions are welcome.

The Konbit has also proposed creation of a blog. We will keep readers posted on the progress of this proposal.

Our purpose

Through this working session, we aim to (1) define a set of recommendations for management of Haitian land and natural resources in a time of climate change and profound environmental challenges, and (2) develop more effective models of environmental communication moving forward. Haitian history bears numerous approaches to environmental policy, ranging from excessive resource exploitation (at the level of central government) to a more balanced exchange that sees humans as integral participants within the ecosystem (at the level of a decentralized rural population). The balance of power weighted toward the former pole has brought large-scale destruction of ecosystems and loss of resources. Furthermore, such externally imposed policies as those of the United States Occupation (1915–34) have exacerbated the erosion of Haiti’s ecosystems. Today, Haiti ranks among the most vulnerable nations to climate change.

We hope to include Haitianists from a range of academic disciplines (natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities) and practitioners with diverse language, gender, and generational perspectives. This working session will examine case studies of programs directly involved in such initiatives as shoreline restoration, forestry, water resources management, and sustainable agricultural programs. We are particularly seeking those who can report on cooperative collaborations with ordinary residents, citing their insights, concerns, advice, and resistance. Participants will identify models with the potential to revolutionize policy and compile a set of future possibilities based on grounded realities.


LeGrace Benson (lead convener), legrace.benson@gmail.com

Lois Wilcken (co-convener), makandal@earthlink.net



Konbit miltidisiplinè pou konesans anviwònman ann Ayiti a, yon konbit etabli ane sa anba patwonaj Asosyasyon Etid Ayisyen an (AEA), te fè premye kòlòk li. Sesyon an pase 7 òktòb pandan 32yèm Konferans Anyèl AEA (Nou La Pi Rèd! Annou bay fòm nouvo pratik-teyori jarèt) kòm wèbina sou platfòm Zoom, avèk difizyon an dirèk sou Facebook. Konferansye yo te reprezante divès disiplin depi nan syans anviwònmantal yo ak agrikilti jis relijyon ak mizikoloji, poutan tout swiv istwa ekosistèm ayisyen yo ak anpil enterè. Yo te prezante tout pwoblèm, tout pèspektiv ki soti nan rechèch ak aplikasyon yo. LeGrace Benson te modere. Men konferansye yo: Marc Cohen, Evens Emmanuel, Gerdès Fleurant, Ellie Happel, avèk Jean Wiener. Karen Richman te bay yon rezime, epi Rebecca Dirksen t anonse yon nimewo espesyal Jounal Etid Ayisyen ki mete askan sou anviwònman Ayisyen an. Konbit la remèsye AEA—espesyalman Prezidan Mark Schuller, Julio Perez Centeno, ak Darlene Dubuisson—ki ba nou platfòm nan ak sipò teknik.

Gade sesyon an sou YouTube.

Aktyèlman Konbit la sanble kenz moun. Yo reyini vityèlman premye desanm pase. Nou mèt jwenn nòt reyinyon sa yo isit.

Ansanm nou te kreye yon bibliyografi sou anviwònman an ki disponib pou tout itilizatè/èz entènèt yo gade bò isit. Travay sa ankou, epi nou gen entansyon transfere l a yon bank enfòmasyon pou itilizatè/èz yo chache nan divès fason. Anplis, Konbit la bezwen mete aksan sou travay fèt pa chèchè ak aktivis baze ann Ayiti yo. Nou akeyi konsèy nou.

Konbit la gen lide etabli yon blog. N ap bay rapò pwojè sa tanzantan.

Rezon Konbit la

Nan gwoup travay sa a, nou pral mete tèt nou ansanm pou nou (1) idantifye yon seri rekòmandasyon pou jere tè ansanm avèk lòt resous natirèl nan mitan chanjman klimatik ak lòt defi nan anviwònman an, epi (2) devlope kèk bon modèl pou nou kominike sou pwoblèm anviwònman an apre sesyon sa a. Nan istwa peyi d Ayiti, yo konn sèvi ak diferan apwòch sou kesyon regleman sou anviwònman soti sou esplwatasyon resous san limit (nan nivo gouvènman santral la) rive sou yon sistèm ki pi balanse kote yo gade moun kòm eleman ki fè on sèl ak sistèm ekolojik la (nan nivo popilasyon riral desantralize). Premye apwòch la gen tandans kraze sistèm ekolojik la anpil, li gen tandans detwi resous yo. Anplis, politik peyi etranje yo—tankou jan peyi Etazini te enpoze Ayiti sa pou l fè pandan premye okipasyon an (1915–34)—te ogmante ewozyon ekosistèm peyi a. Jounen jodi a, Ayiti pami peyi ki gen plis defi nan kesyon chanjman klimatik.

Nou ta renmen rasanble espesyalis k ap travay sou Ayiti ki nan diferan domèn akademik (syans natirèl, syans sosyal, ak syans imèn) ansanm ak moun ki reprezante divès pwennvi sou koze lang, idantite seksyèl, moun diferan jenerasyon, elatriye. Konbit sa a pral etidye pwogram ki enplike dirèkteman nan travay tankou restorasyon bòdmè, pran swen forè yo, jesyon dlo, ak agrikilti dirab. Nou enterese anpil nan tande temwayay moun ki nan koperativ kolaborasyon ak moun ki rete nan kominote yo, epi ki ka pataje esperyans yo, enkyetid yo, konsèy yo, ak rezistans yo. Patisipan yo ap gen pou yo idantifye modèl ki gen kapasite potansyèl, epi konpile on seri rekòmandasyon ki konekte ak reyalite yo.

Nou remèsye Espas Kreyòl pou asistans a tradiksyon an.


LeGrace Benson (Premye Metrès Lanbi), legrace.benson@gmail.com

Lois Wilcken (Dezyèm Metrès Lanbi), makandal@earthlink.net


University of Chicago – Assistant Instructional Professor in French and Haitian Kreyol (Mar. 25, 2021)

The Department of Romance Languages & Literatures and the Humanities Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago are accepting applications for a full-time, one-year renewable, benefits-eligible, position, at the Assistant Instructional Professor level, in French and Haitian Kreyol. The Assistant Instructional Professor will be assigned to the French Language Program in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures.

Responsibilities will include teaching seven language courses per year, of which at least two will be in Kreyol, across three quarters. Other duties may include offering independent studies in French and/or Kreyol as directed, community outreach, advising registered student organizations in French and/or Kreyol, the promotion of the French and/or Kreyol language programs, acting as a study abroad office liaison and/or undergraduate adviser, and work with Course Share or similar platforms.

Required are ACTFL Superior-level proficiency (or equivalent) in French and Kreyol, and Advanced-level (or equivalent) proficiency in English. Candidates must be able to demonstrate their language proficiency via certification or in the interview process. Candidates must hold an advanced degree in a related discipline, and have a minimum of one year of teaching experience at the college or post-secondary level. Specialized training in second language acquisition, second language pedagogy and/or assessment is highly desirable. Experience with materials development is highly desirable. All instructional professors are expected to engage in regular professional development.

This appointment will start on September 1, 2021.

This position is contingent upon final budgetary approval.

To apply for this position candidates must submit their application through the University of Chicago’s Interfolio jobs board at apply.interfolio.com/84391

Applicants must upload a current curriculum vitae; a cover letter of interest written in English; a statement of teaching philosophy; sample teaching materials including a unit plan for an elementary-level Kreyol language class (max. 10 pages total, written in Kreyol) and a summary of its learning objectives (in English or French); and the names and contact information of three references whose recommendation letters may be solicited. Optionally, course evaluations (if available) may be uploaded. Upon request, applicants should be prepared to provide a video demonstrating their classroom teaching,

Application deadline is March 25, 2021. Only completed applications will be considered. For further questions about this position, please contact Guillaume Beaudin, Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, gbeaudin@uchicago.edu

The position will be part of the Service Employees International Union.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at https://provost.uchicago.edu/statements-diversity.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-1032 or email equalopportunity@uchicago.edu with their request.