Day 22: Black History Month: “Haiti Through Books in the Last 20 Years” by English Speaking Haitianists and Historians of Haiti

Day 22: Black History Month: “Haiti Through Books in the Last 20 Years”

by English Speaking Haitianists and Historians of Haiti

To continue our Haiti Then and Now’s Black History Month series and the particular contributions of Haiti and the Haitian people to human flourishing in the world, in this post, we focus on the contributions and works of Haitianists and historians of Haiti; in particular, we give attention to key studies that have been published in the last 20 years, that is, from 2000 to the present.  The focus of this selected list is on the major works on the Haitian Revolution and Haiti’s national history, published in the English language, by non-Haitian-born scholars, historians, anthropologists, religious scholars, literary scholars, writers, etc.

***Do let us know if we are missing any important studies that you believe should be on the list. Leave us a comment with the name of the author and the title of the book.

Happy Black History Month alayisyen!!!

Haitian children read books outside a mobile library set up September 15, 2012 in Port-au-Prince. The curious little heads celebrate the arrival of “BiblioTaptap”, a van converted into a library with Library Without Borders (BSF), arrived Saturday morning in the area of ??Green Sofa east of the Haitian capital. The January 2010 earthquake destroyed many libraries in Port-au-Prince. Thanks to the intervention of BSF, many were given up and the organization has displaced persons to stay in touch with books by holding public readings. AFP PHOTO / Thony BELIZAIRE (Photo credit should read THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/GettyImages)
  • David Geggus is an Emeritus Professor of History at University of Florida.
  • Recommended works: The Impact of the Haitian Revolutionary in the Atlantic World (2002); Haitian Revolutionary Studies (2002); The World of the Haitian Revolution (2009); The Haitian Revolution: A Documentary History (2014).
  • John Gariggus is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Recommended works: Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint – Domingue (2006); Slave Revolution in the Caribbean: A History in Documents (2006); Race, Gender, and Virtue in Haiti’s Failed Foundational Fiction: La Mulâtre comme il y a peu de blanches (1803) (2003); New Christians / ‘New Whites’: Sephardic Jews, Free People of Color, and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue, 1760-1789 (2001); “Colour, class and identity on the eve of the Haitian revolution: Saint‐Domingue’s free coloured elite as colons américains (2008); “To establish a community of property”: Marriage and race before and during the Haitian Revolution” (2012).
  • Laurent Du Bois is Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History and Director, Center for French and Francophone Studies at Duke University.
  • Recommended works: Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2005); Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004); A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004); An Enslaved Enlightenment: rethinking the Intellectual History of the French Atlantic (2006); Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012); Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Document (2016); The Haiti Reader: History, Culture, Politics (2020); Freedom Roots: Histories from the Caribbean (2020).
  • Jeremy D. Popkin is Professor of History at the University of Kentucky.
  • Recommended works: Facing Racial Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Insurrection (2007); You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (2010); A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution (2012); “The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804):  A Different Route to Emancipation.”
  • Matthew J. Smith is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership at the University College London.
  • Recommended works: Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (2009); Liberty, Fraternity, Exile: Haiti and Jamaica after Emancipation: Haiti and Jamaica after Emancipation (2014); “’To Place Ourselves in History’: The Haitian Revolution in British West Indian Thought Before The Black Jacobins” (2019).
  • J. Michael Dash was a scholar of Haitian literature and Culture and Caribbean literature in the French expression. 
  • Recommended works: Culture and Customs of Haiti (2001).
  • Philippe R. Girard is an AssociateProfessor of History at McNeese State University.
  • Recommended works: Clinton in Haiti: The 1994 U.S. Invasion of Haiti (2004); “Caribbean Genocide: Racial War in Haiti, 1802-1804” (2005); Haiti: The Tumultuous History – From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation (2010); The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian War of Independence, 1801-1804 (2011); Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life (2016); The Memoir of General Toussaint Louverture: Translated and Edited by Philiippe R. Girard (2017).
  • Paul Farmer is the Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University.
  • Recommended works: Haiti after the Earthquake (2011).
  • Terry Rey is Professor of Religion at Temple University.
  • Recommended works: The Priest and the Prophetess: Abbé Ouvière, Romaine Rivière, and the Revolutionary Atlantic World. (2017); Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith: Haitian Religion in Miami (2013).
  • Deborah Jenson is Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University.
  • Recommended works: Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution (2011); Poetry of the Haitian Independence (2015).
  • Mary A. Renda is an Associate Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Mount Holyoke College.
  • Recommended works: Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of the U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940 (2001).
  • Doris Garraway is Associate Professor of French and Chair of the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University.
  • Recommended works: The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean (2005); Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World (2008); “Black Athena in Haiti: Universal History, Colonization, and the African Origins of Civilization in Postrevolutionary Haitian Writing” (2017); “Print, Publics, and the Scene of Universal Equality in the Kingdom of Henry Christophe” (2016); “Empire of Liberty, Kingdom of Civilization: Henry Christophe, Baron de Vastey, and the Paradoxes of Universalism in Postrevolutionary Haiti” (2012).
  • Kaima L. Glover is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French and Africana Studies.
  • Recommended works: Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (2010); “Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine for Yale French Studies” (2016); The Haiti Reader (2020).

Translated works: Frankétienne’s Ready to Burst (2014); Marie Chauvet’s Dance on the Volcano (2016); René Depestre’s Hadriana in All My Dreams (2017).

  • Elizabeth Abbott is a retired historian.
  • Recommended works: Haiti: A Shattered Nation (2011).
  • Kate Ramsey is Professor of History at the University of Miami.
  • Recommended works: The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (2011); Transformative Visions: Works by Haitian Artists from the Permanent Collection (2015).
  • Margarita A. Mooney is Associate Professor of Congregational Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Recommended works: “Religion as a Context of Reception: The Case of Haitian Immigrants in Miami, Montreal and Paris” (2013); “Religion and the Incorporation of Haitians in Montreal” (2014); Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (2009).
  • Karen E. Richman is Director of the Undergraduate Studies, Institute for Latino Studies and Departments of Romance Languages and Literatures and Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame.
  • Recommended works: Migration and Vodou (2005); “The Vodou State and the Protestant Nation: Haiti in the Long Twentieth Century” (2012); Who Owns Haitian Religion? “(2016); “Mortuary Rites and Social Dramas in Léogâne, Haiti” (2018).
  • Michael Largey is Associate Professor of Music at Michigan State University.
  • Recommended works: Vodou Nation: Haitian Art Music and Cultural Nationalism (2006).
  • Benjamin Hebblethwaite is Associate Professor in Haitian Creole, Haitian and Francophone Studies.
  • Recommended works: Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English (2011); “Sik salitasyon nan Rit Rada a: Patwon fondalnatal ak eleman patikilye nan salitasyon lwa Rada yo” (2017); A Transatlantic History of Haitian Vodou (2021).
  • translated works: Stirring up the Pot of Haitian History (2021).
  • Mariana Past is Associate Professor of Spanish at Dickinson College.
  • Recommended works:  Toussaint Louverture: Repensar un icono (2015) and co-translated (with Benjamin Hebblethwaite) Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s (1977) Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti [Stirring the Pot of Haitian History] from Haitian Creole to English.

  • Mark Schuller is Professor of Anthropology and Nonprofit and NGO Studies at Northern Illinois University and affiliate at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, l’Université d’État d’Haïti.
  • Recommended works: Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti (2016);Tectonic Shifts: Haiti since the Earthquake (2013); Poto Mitan: Haitian Woman, Pillars of the Global Economy (2009); “Pa Manyen Fanm Nan Konsa: Intersectionality, Structural Violence, and Vulnerability Before and After Haiti’s Earthquake” (2015); “Rasin Neyoliberal Kriz Lavi Chè a” (the neoliberal roots of Haiti’s food crisis) (2011).
  • Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is Assistant Professor of Caribbean and Postcolonial Literatures in French at the City College of New York.
  • Recommended works: Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (2015); Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine (2015); “’The Origins of Totalitarianism’: from Resistance to Human Rights in Marie Chauvet’s Les Rapaces.” “’The Origins of Totalitarianism’: from Resistance to Human Rights” (2015); The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative (2016).
  • Gregory Pierrot is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Stamford.
  • Recommended works: “‘Our Hero’: Toussaint Louverture in British Representations” (2008); An Historical Account of the Black Empire of Hayti, by Marcus Rainsford, co-edited with Paul Youngquist (2013); The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture (2019).
  • Julia Gaffield is an Associate Professor of history at Georgia State University.
  • Recommended works: “Haiti and Jamaica in the re-making of the early nineteenth century Atlantic World” (2012); “Complexities of Imagining Haiti:  A Study of National Constitutions, 1801-1807” (2007); “Haiti’s Declaration of Independence: Digging for Lost Documents in the Archives of the Atlantic World” (2014); Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution (2015); The Haitian Declaration of Independence: Creation, Context, and Legacy (2016); “Meet Haiti’s founding father, whose black revolution was too radical for Thomas Jefferson “ (2018); “Haiti was the first nation to permanently ban slavery: Why this matters today” (2020).
  •  Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall is Professor of History at California State University (San Marcos)
  • Recommended works: Haitian History: New Perspectives (2012); “Still Unthinkable? The Haitian Revolution and the Reception of Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past” (2013); “Teaching about Haiti in World History: An Introduction” (2013); The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism (2005); “Beyond The Black Jacobins: Haitian Revolution Historiography Comes of Age” (2017); Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games (2021).
  • Gerald Horne holds the Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies at University of Houston.
  • Recommended works: Confronting Black Jacobin: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic (2015).
  • Brandon R. Byrd is Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.
  • Recommended works: “Black Republicans, Black Republic: African-Americans, Haiti, and the Promise of Reconstruction (2014); The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti (2019).
  • Leslie Alexander is an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University.
  • Recommended works: “The Black Republic: The Influence of the Haitian Revolution on Black Political Consciousness, 1816-1862” (2009); “A Pact With the Devil?: The United States and the Fate of Modern Haiti”  (2011); “A Land of Promise: Emigration and Pennsylvania’s Black Elite in the Era of the Haitian Revolution” (2013); Black Republic: African Americans, Haiti, and the Birth of Black Internationalism, Forthcoming, University of Illinois Press; “A spirit of revolt among the blacks:” Black Resistance in the Era of the Haitian Revolution, in Revolution and Counter-Revolution: Gerald Horne’s Black Radical History, eds. Charisse Burden-Stelly and Phillip Luke Sinitiere, forthcoming 2021; “‘A United and Valiant People:’ Black Visions of Haiti in the Immediate Aftermath of Haitian Independence,” in Expanding the Boundaries of African American Intellectual History, eds. Leslie Alexander, Brandon Byrd, and Russell Rickford, Northwestern University Press, forthcoming 2021.
  • Julius S. Scott III is an Emeritus Historian Faculty at the University of Michigan.
  • Recommended works: Origins of the Black Atlantic: Rewriting Histories (2009); The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution (2018).
  • James Alexander Dun is an early American historian and Assistant Dean at Princeton University.
  • Recommended works: Dangerous Neighbors: Making the Haitian Revolution in Early America (2016).
  • Ashli White is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami.
  • Recommended works: Encountering Revolution: Haiti and the Making of the Early Republic (Early America: History, Context, Culture (2010).
  • Madison Smartt Bell teaches at Goucher College.
  • Recommended works: Master of the Crossroads (2004); The Stone That the Builder Refused (2006); All Soul’s Rising: A Novel of Haiti (2004); Toussaint Louverture: A Biography (2007).
  • Susan Buck-Morss is Susan Buck-Morss is Distinguished Professor of Political Theory at the CUNY Graduate Center and Jan Rock Zubrow Professor Emerita of Government at Cornell University.
  • Recommended Works: “Hegel and Haiti” (2000); Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History(2009).
  • Sibylle M. Fischer is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University.
  • Recommended works: Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (2009).
  • Nick Nesbitt is Professor of French and Italian at Princeton University.
  • Recommended works: Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment (2008); Toussaint Louverture: The Haitian Revolution (2008), translated by Nick Nesbitt.
  • Sudhir Hazareesingh is CUF Lecturer in Politics and Tutorial Fellow in Politics, and Senior Fellow at University of Oxford.
  • Recommended works: Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture (2020).
  • Ada Ferrer is Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean History at New York University.
  • Recommended works: El rumor de Haití en Cuba: Temor, Raza y Rebeldía (2004); Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (2014).
  • Rachel Douglass is Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow.
  • Recommended works: Making The Black Jacobins: C. L. R. James and the Drama of History (2019).
  • David Scott is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University.
  • Recommended works: Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (2004); “The Theory of Haiti: The Black Jacobins and the Poetics of Universal History” (2019).
  • Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool
  • Recommended works:  Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (2017); The Black Jacobins Reader (2017).
  • Christian Høgsbjerg a Lecturer in Critical History and Politics at the University of Brighton. 
  • Recommended works: Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts (2012); The Black Jacobins Reader (2017); Toussaint Louverture: A Black Jacobin in the Age of Revolutions (2017).
  • Chelsea Stieber is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
  • Recommended works: Haiti’s Paper War: Post-Independence Writing, Civil War, and the Making of the Republic, 1804-1954 (2020); “Beyond Mentions: New Approaches to Comparative Studies of Haiti” (2018); “The Myths of the Haitian Republic” (2018).
  • Amy Wilentz is Professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.
  • Recommended works: Rainy Season: Haiti-Then and Now (2010); Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti (2013).
  •  Jana Evans Braziel is Western College Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University.
  • Recommended works: Artists, Performers, and Black Masculinity in the Haitian Diaspora (2008); Riding with Death: Vodou Art and Urban Ecology in the Streets of Port-au-Prince (2017); Duvalier’s Ghosts: Race, Diaspora, and U.S. Imperialism in Haitian Literatures (2017); The Bloomsbury Handbook to Edwidge Danticat (2021).
  • Valerie Kaussen is an Associate Professor of French at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Recommended works: Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism (2008); “Violence and Methodology: Reading Aristide in the Aftermath of 2004” (2009); Do it Yourself: International Aid and the Neoliberal Ethos in the Tent Camps of Port-au-Prince (2011); “Haitian Culture in the Informational Economies of Humanitarian Aid” (2016).
  • Johnhenry Gonzalez is a Lecturer in Caribbean history at the University of Cambridge.
  • Recommended works: Maroon Nation: A History of Revolutionary Haiti (2019).
  • Mathew J. Clavin is Professor of History at the University of Houston.
  • Recommended works: Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution (2010).
  • Jennie M. Smith is Professor in the Anthropology department at Queens University of Charlotte.
  • Recommended books: When the Hands are Many: Community Organization and Social Change in Rural Haiti (2001); “Singing Back: The Chante Pwen of Haiti” (2004).
  • Jeb Sprague is a Research Associate at the Institute for Research on World-Systems (IROWS) at the University of California, Riverside.
  • Recommended books:   Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti (2012); “Global Capitalism, Haiti, and the Flexibilization of Paramilitarism” (2018).
  • Chris Bongie is Professor and Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University, Canada.
  • Recommended books: The Colonial System Unveiled (translation, 2014).
  • Martin Munro is Professor of French and Francophone Literatures at Florida State University.
  • Recommended books: Exile and Post–1946 Haitian Literature: Alexis, Depestre, Ollivier, Laferrière, Danticat (2007); Writing on the Fault Line: Haitian Literature and the Earthquake of 2010 (2014); A Reader’s Guide to Edwidge Danticat (2010); Echoes of the Haitian Revolution (2008).
  • Peter Hallward is Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University.
  • Recommended books: Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment (2007); “An Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide” (2007).
  • Graham T. Nessler is Visiting Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University.
  • Recommended books: An Islander Struggle for Freedom: Revolution, Emancipation, and Enslavement in Hispaniola, 1789-1809 (2016).
  • Mimi Scheller is Professor of Sociology at Drexel University.
  • Recommended works: Islands Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropogene (2020); Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (2012).
  • Beverly Bell is Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and the founder of Other Worlds.
  • Recommended books: Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance (2001); Fault Lines: views Across Haiti’s Divide (2013).
  • Paul Sutton & Kate Quinn: Sutton is an Emeritus Reader in Politics at the University of Hull, UK. Quinn is a Lecturer in Caribbean History at University College London, UK.
  • Recommended books: Politics and Power in Haiti (2013).
  • Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon: Jackson is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Georgetown University. Bacon is an independent scholar in San Diego, California.
  • Recommended works: African Americans and the Haitian Revolution; Selected Essays and Historical Documents (2010).
  • Michael O. West, William G. Martin, & Fanon Che Wilkins: West is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Binghamton University. Martin is Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University. Wilkins is Associate Professor of African American History and Culture at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.
  • Recommended works: From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International Since the Age of Revolution (2009).
  • Frances Richardson Keller is Professor of History at San Francisco State University.
  • Recommended works: Slavery and the French and Haitian Revolutionists: L’attitude de la France à L’égard de L’esclavage pendant la Révolution by Anna Julia Cooper; translated and edited by Frances Richardson Keller (2006).
  • Fran Quigley is Clinical Professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law.
  • Recommended works: How Human Rights Can Be Build: Activists, Lawyers, and the Grassroot Campaign (2014).
  • Doris Y. Kadish, Deborah Jenson, and Norman R. Shapiro: Kadish is Distinguished Research Professor Emerita of French and Women’s Studies at the University of Georgia. Jenson is Director of the Franklin Humanities Institute and Professor of Romance Studies and Global Health at Duke University. Shapiro is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Distinguished Professor of Literary Translation at Wesleyan University and an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.  
  • Recommended works: Poetry of Haitian Independence (2015).


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