Haitian Studies Association

Haitian Studies Association – Membership Directory

This public directory of members of the Haitian Studies Association is intended to showcases our members’ knowledge and expertise to students, scholars, media, nonprofits, philanthropic, policymaking, and government agencies. It is our hope this directory can aid in connecting people of common goals in fruitful communication.

Current members that wish to add themselves or edit their information should click here

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John Walsh

University of Pittsburgh - professor


John Patrick Walsh is Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh. His teaching and research interests include the literature and history of Haiti and the French Caribbean; francophone literature of Sub-Saharan Africa; and the Environmental Humanities. He is the author of two books: Free and French in the Caribbean: Toussaint Louverture, Aimé Césaire, and Narratives of Loyal Opposition (Indiana UP, 2013) and Migration and Refuge: An Eco-Archive of Haitian Literature, 1982-2017, (Liverpool UP, 2019).

Interests: Black Studies, Cultural Studies, Decolonization, Diaspora Studies, Environment, History, Literature, Arts - Visual
Open to talking with: Anyone

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Karen Widess

University of Kent Law School/Loyola University Chicago Law School - Lecturer


Karen Ann Widess served as Head of Program Development and Compliance for the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) from 2006 through 2010, where she coordinated the activities of the internal committee for the selection of projects and oversaw the staff of the Program Development and Compliance Unit in developing program and projects involving numerous counties and rule of law development issues and diverse donor agencies and organizations. She has over 25 years of experience in the rule of law technical assistance field, working for both donors and implementing organizations. In that regard, she has designed as well as fundraised for and managed complex projects in often politically and physically difficult and sensitive environments, and in wide range of rule of law areas. These include, among others, land, property and agricultural reform; banking and finance; infrastructure building; economic and political empowerment of women; free media and press; electoral law compliance; human rights compliance; institutional strengthening and leadership building. Prof. Widess is currently pursuing a PhD in Rule of Law Project Management (Socio-legal studies) at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, where she also teaches seminars in fundamentals of property law.

Interests: Decolonization, Human Rights, International Relations, Political Science
Open to talking with: Non-Profit Organizations, Scholars

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Lois Wilcken

La Troupe Makandal, Inc. - Executive Director


Lois Wilcken (PhD, Columbia University), a native New Yorker, has had the pleasure of researching Afro-Haitian music in Port-au-Prince and New York City's Haitian neighborhoods. She shares her experiences with academic and general audiences. In addition to developing and producing theatrical and educational programs with La Troupe Makandal, she has authored The Drums of Vodou (1992) and co-edited Island Sounds in the Global City (1998). One may visit French and English versions of Dr. Wilcken's Vodou Music in Haiti exhibit at www.lameca.org. She is currently annotating a collection from her own field recordings for publication on the web-based Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive (EVIADA) based at Indiana University, and with Makandal, she is building an online archive centered on the life and legacy of the company's late Artistic Director, Master Drummer Frisner Augustin.

Interests: Environment, Music, Religion, Arts - Performing
Open to talking with: Educators (K-12), Scholars, Students (College), Activists, Artists

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Nicole Willson

Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire - Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Nicole's research is situated at the intersection of Black Studies, Haitian Studies and American and Caribbean Cultural Studies. Her work focuses largely on the transgenerational legacies of the Haitian Revolution and, more broadly, on articulations of resistance across the Black Atlantic from the age of slavery to the present. She is interested, in particular, in recovering the often forgotten, silenced and mediated stories of women of colour and is an advocate of engaged scholarly practice. Drawing on literary, historical, visual and material cultural, anthropological and heritage studies frameworks, Nicole's published work spans a broad interdisciplinary trajectory, and engages with subjects ranging from sartorial resistance in the revolutionary Black Atlantic to cultural icons such as Beyoncé and Meghan Markle. She acts as co-Treasurer for the British Association of American Studies and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of American Studies.

Open to talking with: Anyone

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Andrew Young

University of Toronto - PhD Candidate

PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. I work on Haitian writings during and after the revolution, meant to signal legitimacy and sovereignty, from Toussaint to the period of Soulouque.

Interests: Cultural Studies, Literature, Political Science
Open to talking with: Anyone

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