Haitian Studies Association

Announcements & Statements


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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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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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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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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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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