H-Haiti Mission Statement

The dominant narrative of Haiti remains an uncritically repeated story in which cultural and political advocates from the United States, France, Great Britain, and what historian Brenda Gayle Plummer has otherwise called, “the great powers,” have been required to intervene in Haiti on many different occasions in order to “save the country from itself.” However, the asymmetrical and often dialogic influence of Haiti on these world powers in the realms of art, literature, music, culture, religion, and politics, are rarely presented, with many scholars and other writers (especially, journalists) focusing instead on historically-based Atlantic World fears about Haiti because of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1803), and contemporary fears of Haitian migration to the U.S. in the form of “boat people.” In the spirit of Papa Legba (a Haitian lwa who acts as a crossroads between the human and non-human worlds), H-Haiti proposes a new forum dedicated to what scholar and Advisory board member of H-Haiti, Gina Athena Ulysse, has called “New Narratives of Haiti.” H-Haiti proposes this crossroads for scholars to explore and discuss Haitian history, art, and culture through a lens beyond that of fear, repression, failure, and dependency. Since scholarship on Haiti within an international context often remains fragmented, as it is dispersed between many disciplines, including art, music, literature, history, anthropology, economics, political science, and religion, as a corrective this discussion network will convene national and international scholars, artists, and cultural leaders from all disciplines. H-Haiti will feature interviews, editorials, guest posts, and a variety of announcements, and we expect that H-Haiti readers and participants will represent a range of disciplines and perspectives, including art history, history, literature, anthropology, religion, and performance studies. In the end, the goal of H-Haiti is to bring together scholars, artists, and cultural leaders to share information and deepen understanding and awareness of the historical role of Haiti and Haitians in the making of the modern world-system. The discussion network will accept submissions in English, French, and Haitian Kreyol.