Haitian Studies Association

Announcements & Statements


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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