Haitian Studies Association

Recent News

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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)

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 Speakers

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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Working Sessions for 2020 Online Conference

Participation in these Working Sessions is free to all Members of H.S.A (renew your membership here) & also free to the public (you must register to each session individually). All members will receive their invitation links a day before the session. It will also be broadcasted live via our YouTube Channel & our Facebook.   For […]

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

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)

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)

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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Journal of Haitian Studies – Call for Submissions

Globally we are confronted by a precariously changing climate—in ecological, political, economic, and spiritual terms. Few places face more immediate and profound consequences than Haiti: amid presently unfolding political and economic turmoil, the Global Climate Risk Index has repeatedly ranked the country as among the most vulnerable nations in the world to the effects of extreme weather events related to climate change (e.g., Eckstein, Künzel, and Schäfer 2017).

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HSA Emerging Scholars Workshop Series

Since the annual conference is online this year, we will not hold the Emerging Scholars pre-conference this year. Instead, we are offering a timely workshop series for emerging scholars: How to Navigate Academia in the COVID-19 Era (August 15 to September 26).

Kòm kòlòk anyèl HSA la pral fèt sou entènèt ane sa a, nou pap kenbe Pre-Kòlòk Jèn Chèchè ane sa. Olye sa, nou ap ofri yon seri atelye pou jèn chèchè sou kòman pou navige travay akademik nan epòk COVID-19 la. Seri a ap sòti 15 out rive 26 septanm.

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Update on our 32nd Annual Conference (June 23rd, 2020)

Dear friend, We hope you are able to manage despite specific and pervasive violence, which in many ways is a second pandemic. We send you good energy and strength as a member of the H.S.A. community and family. We are reminded particularly now about the importance of our work. We strive to make H.S.A. a […]

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June 11, 2020
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Statement Against Racial Terror, Anti-Blackness And Police Violence In The United States

The Haitian Studies Association (HSA) joins countless other academic and professional organizations, researchers, activists and all others committed to human and civil rights for all people in the United States of America US and across the world, in condemning the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police. We condemn this state-sanctioned police violence which continues to terrorize communities of color, especially African American communities and other Black populations.

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Working Sessions 2020

For the 2020 Conference at American University in Washington, DC, which will be held from October 8-10, H.S.A. plans to pilot a new format of peer-to-peer and mentorship gathering: two-hour working sessions clustered around conference themes. 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 sessions will both build on this strength and foster more engaged scholarship. At our next conference in Washington, in addition to plenaries and concurrent sessions, H.S.A will dedicate space to accommodate the following six sessions. 

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32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers (English)

Appel à présentations Apèl Pou Prezantasyon Nou La Pi Rèd! Embodying a New Praxis October 8-10, 2020 The American University Washington, DC Submit your proposal NOW! In Haiti and throughout the world, people are protesting against neoliberal austerity, state corruption, the shift to authoritarianism, and unbridled repression. Moments such as these oblige scholars and professionals […]

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32nd Annual Conference – Proposal Submission Form

  Deadline has passed. Please stay tuned for further details.  

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32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers (French)

Call for Papers Apèl Pou Prezantasyon Nou La Pi Rèd! Incarnant une nouvelle praxis 8-10 octobre 2020 The American University Washington, DC   Soumettez dès MAINTENANT votre proposition ! En Haïti et à travers le monde, les peuples protestent contre l’austérité néolibérale, la corruption étatico-gouvernementale, le retour à l’autoritarisme et la répression féroce. Ces moments […]

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32nd Annual Conference Call for Papers (Creole)

Call for Papers Appel à présentations Nou La Pi Rèd! Annou Bay fòm nouvo pratik-teyori jarèt 8-10 oktòb, 2020 The American University Wachintonn Voye pwopozisyon ou kounye a ! Ann Ayiti epi toupatou sou latè, tout pèp ap manifeste kont pwojè lanmò neyoliberal la, koripsyon nan Leta, tandans otoritaris, ak represyon brital. Se moman sa […]

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January 16, 2020
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2020 Working Sessions Initiative

For the 2020 Conference at American University in Washington, DC, which will be held from October 8-10, H.S.A. plans to pilot a new format of peer-to-peer and mentorship gathering: two-hour working sessions clustered around conference themes. Members like you have asked for new ways of connecting, being involved, and many of you have expressed the […]

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2020 Working Sessions Initiative (Submission Form)

Deadline to submit Working Sessions has passed.

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January 13, 2020
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President’s Message (January 12, 2020)

12 janvye 2020 One respè tout moun! Se avèk anpil emosyon map ekri premye lèt kòm Prezidan Asosyasyon Etid Ayisyen (H.S.A. nan sig angle a). Mwen ann Ayiti pou jou ki make 10zan depi tranblemanntè a te frape peyi a. Menm jan ak zanmi, vwazin/vwazen, etidyan, ak kòlèg, kè m sote lè m tande sou […]

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November 7, 2019
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Haitian Studies Association (HSA) Statement of Solidarity with the People of Haiti

International media often portray Haiti as being in continuous crisis since the successful revolution against slavery for independence and the birth of the Republic of Haiti in 1804. This representation of Haiti’s national history concurrently silences real concerns in the country and paints an incomplete picture of the current situation and its transnational roots and global connections. Throughout the world, people are protesting against neoliberal austerity, state corruption, the shift to authoritarianism, and unbridled repression. In exceptionalizing Haiti, Western critics fail to consider how Haitians fight valiantly for their freedom and sovereignty.

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September 10, 2019
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Message from the president (September 10th)

Dear H.S.A. Members, I thank you for your participation at the 31st annual conference in Gainesville, Florida and want to let you know that we have great local support from the Gators.  I take advantage of this mail to provide you with updates and reminders: Keynote address.  Edouard Duval-Carrié enthusiastically accepted to be our keynote […]

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EMERGING SCHOLARS AWARD (2019)

The Haitian Studies Association (HSA) established the Student and Emerging Scholars’ fund in 2006. Since 2008, the HSA board has earmarked $1000 annually to support student research and participation in our annual conference. Two scholarships ($500 each) may be applied toward travel and accommodation expenses incurred while attending an HSA conference and/or presenting a specific research project concerning Haiti and/or the Haitian diaspora.

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April 13, 2019
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H.S.A. New Bylaws

Last Fall 2018, in the 30th Annual Conference in Port-au-Prince, the membership voted overwhelmingly (73 to 1) to adopt new bylaws. The new bylaws make provision for HSA members at-large to participate more directly in the running of the organization.

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31st Annual Conference Call for Papers

Haitian Studies has evolved over the past thirty years from a small group of dedicated scholars, mostly in the humanities, to a robust interdisciplinary association ready to broaden its horizons, address unique challenges and embrace new opportunities. This year we will go to the largest public university in the Sunshine State, home to the largest Haitian Diaspora. We envision a large scope of discussions that will allow us not only to reflect on these important historical Diasporic ties and their socio-economic implications but also explore the tracks of tropical storms and hurricanes that bind our destinies.

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October 31, 2018
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Proposed Bylaws

The Bylaws Committee conducted a survey soliciting member input regarding a series of items. This data helped the Committee revise our Bylaws. For example, here are a series of changes made: Election for President The Board engages a Treasurer Members at large constitute the Nomination and Election Committee Members at large have a place in […]

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October 19, 2018
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HSA Survey Report

The H.S.A. is celebrating 30 years since our inception! This is a significant milestone. H.S.A. is in transition, moving the office to the University of California, Santa Barbara. This transition presented an opportunity to reach out to the membership to find out from members how best to serve your needs as we continue to meet […]

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August 22, 2018
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We are mourning the death of Dr. Florence Bellande Robertson

We are mourning the death of Dr. Florence Bellande Robertson, our 2007 President and Founders Circle Member.  Dr. Bellande Robertson was a beloved member of our community, a professor of language and literature and the author of several books on Haitian literature.  We will miss her greatly.  She was a kind, loving, and passionate supporter […]

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30th Annual Conference Registration

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May 11, 2018
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Message from the President – May 2018

This year marks more than thirty years since our Association was created for the benefit of those who study Haiti to collaborate, network, support each-other, and understand Haiti and Haitians better. In 1987, the thirty year reign of the Duvalier family had just come to a close. Haitians had hope, Haiti was changing, and members of the Haitian Diaspora wanted to convene to better understand their country. I remember how young Alix Cantave, Marc Prou, and I were at that time. None among us yet had doctorates; we were known to move about with our young children in our arms. Gerdès Fleurant has just finished his doctorate. There were two professors at Tufts University, Robert Rotberg and Vévé Clark, who encouraged us and helped us to function from there. We did not truly understand how needed this organization was. The endurance of the Association that made us understand its importance. I am afforded opportunity, after thirty years, to return as an active member and proudly represent our founders as President.

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30èm Konferans Anyèl – Apèl Pou Prezantasyon

Se pou rezon sa, Asosyasyon Etid Ayisyien a mande presantasyon ki angaje nan tèm 30èm anivèsè nou: Rasanblaj! Nan 29èm konferans anyèl nou an nan Nouvèl Oleyan, antwopològ Gina Athena Ulysse te chwazi mo “RASANBLAJ” pou li te reflechi tout kalite fason save ki fè rechèch sou Ayiti ka egzaminen zak regroupman, rasanbleman, kopilasyon antanke pwojè, metòd ak pratik ki patiklye nan Etid Ayisyen ak nan travay ekspresif atistik ayisyen.

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30th Annual Conference Call for Papers

The 2018 conference theme calls for presentations on the search for knowledge on and about Haiti, and the work of creation and innovation that advances the field of Haitian Studies through new modes of production and data collection in the sciences, the arts, and humanities. We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels, exhibits, performances, and work products that represent the political, economic, cultural, artistic, educational, historical, environmental, literary, and scientific dimensions of the field of Haitian Studies.

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January 14, 2018
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Haitian Studies Association Responds to Donald Trump

January 13, 2018   On the 8th anniversary of the Earthquake of 2010 which caused the death of more than two hundred thousand people in Haiti, Haitians, people of Haitian origin, and friends of Haiti discussed the offensive remarks of the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with sadness and anger. The American […]

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July 27, 2017
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President’s Message – July 2017

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE New York, July 24, 2017 Welcome I want to use this opportunity to renew ties with old members of the organization and, at the same time, to welcome new members. In that spirit of growth, the 29th Annual Conference in New Orleans will embrace new trends and patterns toward greater and more diverse […]

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July 25, 2017
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HSA Avant Garde Book Prize 2017

The Haitian Studies Association announces its biennial Haiti Book Prize. The 2017 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 2015 and August 2017.

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29th Annual Conference Call for Papers

The formation of Haiti as a sovereign state and the emergence and evolution of its people and its culture have followed a complex route. Since the birth of the nation of Haiti, multiple hierarchies and interconnected systems of oppression and exclusion have engendered structural inequities with respect to Haitian citizenship.

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Submit your proposal for the 29th Annual Conference

After you’ve read the Call for Papers, complete this form to submit your proposal: The deadline for proposal submission for the 29th Annual Conference has passed. If you are interested in participating in a future conference, please join our mailing list to receive information as soon as it becomes available. If you are interested in […]

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Pictures from the 28th Annual Conference

Haiti’s Eco-systems: Focus on Environmental Realities and Hopes Auberge Villa Cana, Cap Haitien, Haiti  

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Pictures from the 27th Annual Conference

Haiti in the Global Environment: Presence, Representations, Performances Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada  

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Pictures from the 23rd Annual Conference

The University of the West Indies, Mona Kingston, Jamaica Haiti at the Intersection of the Caribbean: Tracing the Past, Mapping the Future

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Pictures from the 22nd Annual Conference

Twenty-Second Annual Conference – Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island Haiti, History, Healing: Facing the Challenges of Reconstruction  

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Pictures from the 21st Annual Conference

Indiana University, Bloomington New Ecologies: Actualizing Global Contributions and Development in Haiti    

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Haiti Today: People, Culture, & Politics 2009

“A Summer 2009 international study program in collaboration with L’Institut National d’Administration, de Gestion et Des Hautes Etudes Internationales (INAGHEI).” “This summer the Africana Studies Department, together with the Trotter Institute, will offer a unique academic program on location in Haiti. This program explores the history, politics, culture, and the economic and social developments taking place […]

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Pictures from the 20th Annual Conference

Club Indigo, Montrouis, Haiti Re-Union: Manifesting the Collective Power of Haitian Ingenuity

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Haiti Today: People, Culture, & Politics 2008

“This summer the Africana Studies Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston will offer a unique academic program on location in Haiti. This program explores the history, politics, culture, and the economic and social developments taking place in Haiti, from both external and internal perspectives. It will facilitate students’ understanding of Haiti through total immersion […]

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