“Haiti Then and Now” Interviews Professor Benjamin Hebblethwaite

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“Haiti Then and Now” Interviews Professor Benjamin Hebblethwaite


Haitian Thinkers in the Public Space: An Interview Series

“Haiti Then and Now” Interviews Professor Benjamin Hebblethwaite

Conducted by Dr. Celucien L. Joseph

August 1, 2020

*** This interview with Professor Benjamin Hebblethwaite was conducted in (Haitian) Creole. Since Dr. Hebblethwaite is a Creolist, we thought we would speak with him in the language he instructs students at the University of Florida. Also, the interview was done (orally) via zoom; thus, it is not a written conversation, as we traditional do as part of “Haitian Thinkers in the Public Space: An Interview Series”. Nonetheless, I reproduce in English the questions I asked Professor Hebblethwaite to benefit our English-speaking audience.


    1. Tell us about yourself, your background, education, upbringing, connection to Haiti, etc. Who is Dr. Benjamin Hebblethwaite? “Dr. Hebblethwaite is a Creolist trained at the Indiana University Creole Institute where he contributed as an editorial assistant to the magisterial Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary (Valdman et al 2007). Holding a BA in Religious Studies, an MA in French Literature, and an MA and Ph.D. in French Linguistics, he thrives engaging in interdisciplinary research. As a Haitian Creolist, he is focused on the study and development of the Haitian Creole language and its culture, employing methods in Haitian Creole language documentation, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic ethnomusicology, language contact, and language policy and planning.
    • Dr. Benjamin Hebblethwaite

    Dr. Ben Hebblethwaite researches the intersections of language, culture and songs in the nations of Haiti, Jamaica, France, Germany and the Netherlands. This study of the language and meaning of songs includes research in linguistics, history, literature and society.

    Ben has two forthcoming books, including the sole-authored, A Transatlantic History of Haitian Vodou (University Press of Mississippi, 2021) and the co-edited and translated volume with Mariana Past, Stirring up the Pot of Haitian History (Liverpool University Press, 2021). The latter is a translation of Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s 1976 Haitian Creole book, Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti.

    Read more here: https://haitithenandnow.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/haiti-then-and-now-interviews-professor-benjamin-hebblethwaite/?fbclid=IwAR0fpGjocSOLCsTY2QzKP00h7PkV8zQMJGjMjFdU4WBaIc3iUEf5AMDI1dg