Haitian Studies Association

Recent News

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

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.

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

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.

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Advocacy Day Workshop Sustainable Political Advocacy (October 21, 2021)

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.

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Advocacy Day Briefing: Disentangling Discourses of Disaster (October 21, 2021)

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. Even before the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, organizations in Haiti engaged a process of reconciliation and dialogue in an attempt to assert Haitian people as the center of debates in reimagining the country and offering a democratic transition that would be diverse and inclusive. The July 7 assassination laid bare both the importance and fragility of this effort. A public briefing held two weeks later brought up the continuities of misrule and domination by both foreign and national elite interests.

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Emergency Brainstorming Session: What can we do about the violations at the U.S. Border? (September, 27 2021)

We at H.S.A. feel distraught and sad by the inhumane, racist, imperialist and colonialist treatment of our Haitian brothers and sisters at the border. Please see this Call to Action by H.S.A. and our sister Black academic professional associations.

Given the magnitude of the situation we would like to come together as scholars, activists and practitioners to brainstorm about some concrete actions we can take to support our brothers and sisters. To that end we are holding a brainstorming  meeting on Monday, September 27 at 8 pm EST/7p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT. We will meet with a representative from the Haitian Bridge Alliance to think about some concrete and strategic ways we can work with other organizations to provide our services.

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September 23, 2021
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A Call to Action: justice for Haitian people at the U.S border

We are a collective of Black and professional academic organizations and activist formations that stand in solidarity as we advocate for the humane treatment of Haitian asylum seekers at the Texas border. Almost 15,000 Haitian migrants are camped in Texas after crossing from Mexico because current U.S. policies do not protect their human right to present their cases for asylum to border officials. We say NO to acts of violence and dehumanization by the United States government and its agents toward Haitian refugees and undocumented migrants. This treatment is being meted out to them, in our assessment, because of anti-Black racism and odious racialized stereotypes about Blackness, Haitianness, and immigrant identity. We refuse to remain silent in the face of the devastation being experienced by Haitian people. The color of their skin should not be used against them.

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Translating Haiti: On the Academic Job Market (September 24, 2021)

The second event in the Emerging Scholars’ Translating Haiti mentorship series, this event features a conversation among recently hired scholars from various disciplines and backgrounds discussing how they translated their Haitian studies research for the job market. In a climate of renewed institutional attention to racial justice, how have recent job seekers framed Haitian studies in relation to critiques of anti-blackness that tend to center isolated narratives of historically white nation states like the US?

An interdisciplinary roundtable will reflect on questions posed implicitly and explicitly by search committees on the relevance and generalizability of Haitian studies and talk about how they translate Haitian studies into their diverse disciplines. We will also reflect on the scarcity and precarity of academic employment which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and invite participants to be prepared to share their own experiences seeking academic employment.

The roundtable and Q&A with panelists will be followed by small group discussion in disciplinary affinity groups facilitated by panelists and joined by senior scholars. (This event will be primarily in English with intermittent Kreyòl glosses and bilingual breakout rooms)

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September 6, 2021
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Important Update & Changes to our Annual Conference

With heavy hearts we write to inform you that after careful deliberation and surveying presenters, we have made the difficult decision to go online with our 2021 annual conference this year. Plans are already underway to work with local organizations to meet in Washington face-to-face in 2022. We will also announce the 2023 conference location during this year’s online business meeting.

The Delta variant and the rise in hospitalizations for COVID, the concerns that parents or other caregivers have for people with complications and / or who cannot be vaccinated, coupled with the increasing restrictions universities and other organizations are placing against travel, are making it increasingly challenging for everyone. Above all, HSA is looking out for the safety and wellbeing of its members.

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August 17, 2021
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Solidarity for a Haitian solution to the earthquakes

Saturday morning’s news about the earthquake in the southern peninsula of Haiti was another moment of great sadness for all of us. There are still people we haven’t been able to connect with, causing great fear. Images that have circulated show damaged houses, roads that are cracked on both sides, schools and hospitals fissured. We don’t even know yet how many people lost their lives as a result of the two earthquakes that had the same intensity as January 12, 2010 – a date we will never forget. August 14th is already an important date in Haitian history, as the anniversary of the Bwa Kayiman ceremony led by Boukman Dutty and Cécile Fatiman that inspired the Haitian Revolution. The current ‘conjunctural’ crisis has a different face today but the structural crisis demands that we unite. At the very least, we hope that this historical date marks the end of interference and bad governance at the service of foreign powers that have not stopped punishing Haiti for its role in human liberation. We need a truly Haitian Solution, once and for all… Haitians have the capacity and expertise, even if Haiti doesn’t have enough financial resources to address the multiple crises. The Haitian Studies Association is giving all our strength, capacity, and experience in offering real solidarity with the survivors.

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August 6, 2021
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2021 Nominations for the H.S.A. Board

The members of the Board of Directors of the Haitian Studies Association are elected by the general membership at the annual conference and by electronic balloting prior to the conference and serve a three-year term. Board members can be re-elected for additional terms. The Board is composed of elected (including a student representative), and advisory members who, in turn, elect the officers of the board. The elected officers of the Board of Directors are the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Advisory Board is comprised of the current Executive Director, the immediate Past President, and the Editor of the Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS). Collectively, these members are the governing body of the Haitian Studies Association. 

The Vice President, elected by the membership, shall serve in that capacity for a term of one-year following the Annual Conference. Upon completion of his/her term, she/he shall become the President. The membership of the Association shall elect a new Vice President every year, by email ballot (or if necessary at the first two days of the Annual Conference), according to the procedures prescribed in the By-Laws. The Vice-President assists the President in the functioning and management of the organization and serves as Program Chair for the annual conference.

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Translating Haiti: Within and Beyond the Classroom (August 21, 2021)

As part of the Emerging Scholars Translating Haiti Series, this event is a conversation between public scholars and the editors/contributors of Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives. The event will focus on new ways of teaching about Haiti using different modalities. Discussants will share some aspects of their teaching practice and how they educate the wider public about Haitian culture, history, and contemporary politics. This event will also engage participants through Q/A and small group discussions.

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July 31, 2021
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Conference Registration is Now Open

We are also excited to announce that registration for our 33rd annual conference, held in Washington DC, on October 21-23, is now open. The conference will be held at the DoubleTree in Crystal City, one metro stop away from the airport. People are also invited to book their stay there at a discounted rate. If you prepay, breakfast buffet is $10 per day per person. The day of, it is $20 for buffet.

This year’s conference will prove to be a timely discussion, and a unique opportunity for scholars, policymakers, activists, journalists, and practitioners to learn from one another. The Program Committee has completed its extensive round of blind peer reviews and are pleased to accept 63 excellent papers and 25 panels on a range of themes.

We invite you to register right away… the early bird registration discount ends on September 1.

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Emerging Scholars Award 2021 (Call for Applications)

HSA established the Student and Emerging Scholars’ fund during the 2006 conference. Since 2008, the HSA board has earmarked $1000 annually to support student research and participation in our annual conference.

Two scholarships ($500 each), one for a graduate student and the other for an undergraduate student, may be applied toward travel and accommodation expenses incurred for attending an HSA conference and/or presenting a specific research project concerning Haiti and/or the Haitian diaspora.

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July 19, 2021
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H.S.A. Members Respond to the Current Situation in Haiti

As part of our mission, H.S.A. has always served as a reservoir of knowledge and a forum for analysis, especially in difficult times when it is important to depict Haiti with some historical, social and geo-political context. Below is a list of articles, blogs, interviews and other media produced by the membership since July 7 that analyzes the situation in Haiti. We welcome additions to this list, especially commentary and works written by our colleagues in Haiti.

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Special Online Event: 2 weeks after, what perspectives for Haiti?

The international press exploded with coverage of the assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse, who was executed in the early hours of Wednesday, July 7, 2021.  That same day, several large non-Haitian institutions opined about what Haiti needs.  Some called for a new military occupation despite multiple flawed and failed past interventions in Haiti, while others angled to have a role in decision-making and the electoral calendar. The press reported the speeches of one individual who claimed power shortly after the assassination, but that authority was contested shortly thereafter.  Where do things stand two weeks later?  What are today’s movements in Haiti demanding? What are their models for Haiti? This panel provides Haitian activists and civil society representatives with a platform to share their analyses of recent events, provide additional context through their lived experiences and put forth proposals for the future of Haiti. Speakers’ nuanced perspectives will continue to layer the conversation and help inform media professionals, scholars, students, members of solidarity organizations, civil society, the Diaspora and the general public–anyone interested in Haitian organizations’ voices is welcome.

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July 8, 2021
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Statement about the July 2021 unrest in Haiti

The Haitian Studies Association (HSA) joins countless academic and professional organizations, researchers, activists and all others committed to human and civil rights in Haiti, in the African Diaspora and across the world, in expressing our deep dismay over the news of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and the recent murders of civilians in the country. More than anything, we hope for peace, the safety of all Haitian citizens, and an end to the structural crises that have led to escalating violence and unprecedented political unrest.

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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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July 1, 2021
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The Haitians Book Club

The Haitians Book Club welcomes students and scholars, both inside and outside the academy, to a series of discussions of The Haitians: A Decolonial History, author Jean Casimir’s landmark work of theory and history. Beginning in August 2021, the club will hold four virtual, monthly meetings, free and open to the public. During these meetings, participants will focus our discussion on one of the following themes from The Haitians: translation; slavery and freedom; sovereignty and the state; and colonialism and decoloniality. An invited scholar or pair of scholars will lead each discussion and lend their expertise to our collective attempt to think about Haiti and the world through The Haitians. For more information on how to participate, please visit https://thehaitiansbookclub.com.

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June 19, 2021
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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.

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June 7, 2021
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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. […]

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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.

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

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.”

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May 25, 2021
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Town Hall Response Strategy (2021)

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!)

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

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.

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

One of the most current issues in Haiti is a referendum scheduled for June 17 for a new constitution called for by the current state. The proposed constitution involves a series of changes. This panel will discuss the legacy of the March 29, 1987 constitution, 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.

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

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.

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April 2, 2021
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Letter from the editors of the Journal of Haitian Studies

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.

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March 14, 2021
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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.

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

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.

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Working across Disciplines toward an Environmental Understanding for Haiti

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.

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Chèche Lavi: Film Screening & Discussion (Feb. 6)

Chèche Lavi (2019) is a lyrical documentary portrait of two Haitian migrants, Robens and James, who find themselves stranded at the US Mexico border with no way forward and no one to depend on each other. The quiet, unexpected tenderness of their friendship shines in the eye of an incomprehensible geopolitical storm, even as the two men drift
towards drastically different futures… and a new wall rises on the horizon. This is a film about longing: for a place to fit in, for a stable life, for connection and companionship. It isn’t about crossing borders; it’s about how it feels when you can’t get across. It’s about what happens when you end up in a totally unexpected place when you have to start over.

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January 6, 2021
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Message from the President – January 2021

January 1, 2021

I am writing this message from Haiti… Today I shared my soup joumou and also had some of my friends’. Now I want to reflect on the past year, both to thank you for your contributions and to update you on H.S.A. matters for the upcoming year.

As you are hearing in the news, the situation here is serious. Very. The country is in lockdown again, but it’s not because the people support the movements. Even if people risk their lives during a wave of kidnapping to go out in the streets, there are few cars available as there was a gas shortage for several days. Even the far-away Grandans isn’t spared. The future remains uncertain. There’s no parliament. The president is ruling by decree… One of the last executive orders turned protesting into a “terrorist” act, and 944 demonstraters were killed in the first nine months of 2020. In a month, on February 7, the president’s term is supposed to expire. But no one knows what will happen, how this next chapter will turn out.

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The Rights to Live Creatively: Artistic Expression, Visibility, Solidarity (Dec. 14, 2020)

In light of right-wing authoritarianism in Haiti today that exposes the clientelist nature of the justice system and increases violence against all who seek to live creatively, this Working Session convenes to hear from Haitian freedom fighters and artists on the ground in a series of webinar discussions and focused virtual gatherings.

This second panel features cultural workers Maksaens Denis, independent artist, and Hetera Estamphil, director of KOURAJ, who will share with us the ways in which their works challenge gendered and sexual norms and offer us another vision of and for Haiti. The conversation will be moderated by Josué Azor, and feature performances by Yonel Charles and Jenny Cadet. The goals are to think together with attendees to design an action plan that supports and amplifies their efforts toward creative living in Haiti.

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Conference Program (2020)

Session 1: 11:00 a.m. – noon Eastern Time [1A] Haiti in the Era of Climate Change: A Transnational Stakeholder’s Perspective in Haiti’s Governance and Challenges of Sustainability Room: [A] Pòtoprens Discussant: MacKendy Juste (GIOLA Build) Community-University Partnership: Urban Agriculture Infrastructures Roswald Georges (Service en Evangélisation, Education et Développement (SEED)) Designing Community Strategies for Resilience Micheline […]

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2020 Conference – Town Hall

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.

This 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. How did we do? How can we evaluate ourselves individually and collectively?

This Town Hall is an opportunity for members to deliberate on these urgent questions about our praxis as individual scholar/practitioners/artists as well as the association. What role should H.S.A. be playing? How do we get there?

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2020 Conference – Keynote Event

The theme is this year’s conference is nou la pirèd. It is an assertion that we are here, and we are here to stay. In Haiti and throughout the world, people are protesting against neoliberal austerity, state corruption, the shift to authoritarianism, and unbridled repression. This was how the call for proposals began, written long before COVID and George Floyd (and Breonna Taylor and countless others whose names and lives don’t receive mainstream attention). 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.

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September 23, 2020
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Details about our 2020 Conference

We hope that you and yours are in good health and with an active support network. These indeed are difficult times, in Haiti and in the U.S. We are excited to let members know that the conference planning is completed. We have 35 excellent panels that span the disciplines, including artists and practitioners, in all three of H.S.A.’s official languages. The conference program will be available shortly. Stay tuned!

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The Rights to Live Creatively: Artistic Expression, Visibility, Solidarity (Oct. 8, 2020)

In light of right-wing authoritarianism in Haiti today that exposes the clientelist nature of the justice system and increases violence against all who seek to live creatively, this Working Group convenes to hear from Haitian freedom fighters and artists on the ground in a series of webinar discussions and focused virtual gatherings.

The first panel features cultural workers Josué Azor, Jenny Cadet, and Maksaens Denis who will share with us the ways in which their works challenge gendered and sexual norms and offer us another vision of and for Haiti. During the gathering that follows the webinar, they will think together with attendees to design an action plan that supports and amplifies their efforts toward creative living in Haiti.

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Haitian Art: Koneksyon, Rezistans, Istwa (Oct. 5, 2020)

With the extremely generous and catalyzing platform offered to us by the Haitian Studies Association, the present project offers first and foremost a call to us as scholars, pedagogues, and publishers to be ever rigorous and conscientious  about the ways in which we engage theory, in this case, theory and historical scholarship on and about Haitian visual arts. How might we more rigorously create new mechanisms by which to better facilitate more constant dialogue in regard to the ways in which we speak, think, and write alongside Haitian artists and scholars, especially those writing in Haitian Kreyòl and French?

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Working across Disciplines toward an Environmental Understanding for Haiti (Oct. 7, 2020)

The recently convened working session on the environment of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA) is pleased to announce its first public presentation at HSA’s 32nd Annual Conference, “Nou La Pi Rèd! Embodying a New Praxis.” The presentation will take place in virtual webinar format on the Zoom platform, with live streaming to Facebook, on Wednesday, October 7th, from 2 to 4 pm Eastern Time. 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 will present problems and perspectives from their research and application.

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Call for Nominations for the HSA Board of Directors (2021)

The Board of Directors 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 of Directors 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 of Directors 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.

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