33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Plenary “Haiti in Crisis” (October 23, 2021)
Without a doubt, Haiti’s ongoing crisis will reach a nadir in late October 2021. Following his illegitimate election and extraconstitutional hold on power after a bogus constitutional plebiscite, the regime crisis will be reaching a climax of resistance to tyranny. Whether or not liberal institutions or constructivist ideas can overcome power disparities in some contexts, Haiti has always had a “state against the nation” Now independently sanctioned violence has been privatized or subcontracted enforcement. A system of extortion and embezzlement is subtle, but still continuing from the roots of Duvalierism established through the Macoute networks.
33rd Annual Conference – Recording of Keynote Panel (October 22, 2021)
Thinking through our professional, disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses, we ask: What does truly transformational scholarship look like? How do we foreground perspectives that have historically been excluded and paint a more complete picture of Haiti’s past and the possibilities for her future?
This keynote panel offers an opportunity for a conversation with three people who work full time in Haiti, with one foot in the academic world and another in a host of public engagement. The conference theme – and the current historical moment – demand a new praxis, using Gramscian terminology. What role does scholarship play in solutions?
The Rights to Live Creatively (October 20, 2021)
As the first official convening of the HSA Sexualities Working Group, this event builds on “The Rights to Live Creatively,” a series of conversations and roundtables we facilitated in Fall 2020. We gather to share knowledge and galvanize our commitments, interests, and labor. The first hour of this meeting will feature presentations by Haiti-based community organizers Merlin Jean and Vadson Nicholas, Directors of Cap Haitien-based human rights organization Heritage; Sandy Pierre, Community Activist of Organisation Arc-en-Ciel d’Haiti (ORAH); and Soeurette Policar, Executive Director of Organisation de Développement et de Lutte contre la Pauvreté (ODELPA). In the second hour, we will move into conversation and action planning with all attendees. What are the stakes of “living creatively” in Haiti at this moment? How might we build transnational solidarity projects together?
The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis (Oct. 19, 2021)
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.
33rd Annual Conference – Conference Program (October 21-23, 2021)
Public Conference Program is now available.
Conference Special Events (Oct 21-23, 2021)
Throughout our conference we will have a series of special events: advocacy panels, keynotes, plenaries, social mixers, and more. You can read details about these events on this page.
Pre-Conference Events: Working Groups (Oct 16-20, 2021)
In the week leading up to our annual conference, our three Working Groups are hosting their own sessions to discuss their projects: “Archives and Public Memory in Haiti and the Diaspora”, “The Roots Are Many and Deep: Social, Cultural, and Spiritual Dimensions of Haiti’s Ecological Crisis”, and “The Rights to Live Creatively”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Fund 2021 (Call for Applications)
The Michel-Rolph Trouillot Fund was started in 2012 to expand participation in HSA among Haiti-based academic and public scholars, artists, and professionals who might not be able to attend the conference in person without financial assistance.