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Bulldozia Projects

Post-Slavery in the Francophone Caribbean
Haiti and the Politics of the Universal
Haiti and the Politics of the Universal
Caribbean Enlightenment
From Duvalier to Preval

Post-Slavery in the Francophone Caribbean

A one day seminar at the University of Liverpool, UK - 25 June 2010. Organized by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery and the School of Cultures, Languages and Areas Studies.

Venue: Room 401, Cypress Building, University of Liverpool

The seminar explores some of the myriad legacies of slavery and abolitionism in the Francophone Caribbean from the nineteenth century to today. The event is organized as part of the activities of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS, a partnership between the University of Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool). The seminars on Re-thinking post-slavery are supported through an ESRC Research Seminar Grant.



Doris Garraway (Northwestern), After the Revolution: problems of writing in King Henry Christophe’s Haiti

Kate Hodgson (WISE, University of Hull and EURESCL Project), Imagining the post-slavery future: nineteenth-century abolitionist travel writings and the idea of the free French Caribbean


Alasdair Pettinger (Independent scholar), 'These New Plantations by the Sea': the Caribbean hotel as site of exploitation and scene of writing

Louise Hardwick (Birmingham), Post-Slavery Guadeloupe: echoes of the past in Nèg maron, Lettre ouverte à la jeunesse and the strikes of 2009


Matthew Smith (UWI, Mona), Colonized Eyes: early Jamaican travel writing and Haiti


End of workshop

There is no charge for attendance, but please register attendance with Dr Lyndy Stewart by 18 June 2010. Support is available for travel expenses for postgraduate students registered full-time at UK institutions of Higher Education. Please contact Charles Forsdick by the same date should you wish to apply.

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created by Alasdair Pettinger Mon 7 Jun 2010 11:00 GMT+0100

Haiti and the Politics of the Universal

The programme for this two-day conference at Aberdeen University (Fri 12 to Sat 13 March 2010) has now been released.

Papers include:
  • Nick Nesbitt, Traversing Haiti, Beyond the Universal Phantasm
  • Charles Forsdick, 'Our Past, Our Presents,and Our Possible Futures': Situating Toussaint Louverture
  • Alberto Moreiras, Historicality and Historiography: Haiti and the Limits of World History
  • Deborah Jenson, Placing Haiti on the Geo-psychoanalytic Map: Hypnose, Pathologies of the Middle Passage, and the Creolization of the Unconscious
  • Kim Ives, How the Earthquake Has Affected Haiti's National Democratic Revolution and International Geopolitics
  • David Scott, The Theory of Haiti: The Black Jacobins and the Ethos of Universal History
  • Andrew Leak, Haiti's 'Nouveau Contract Social' of 2005: A Simulacrum of Citizenship
  • Chris Bongie, (Not) Razing the Walls: The Post-Politics of 'World Literature'
  • John Kranauskias, Haiti's Marvelous Revolution: Reflections on Alejo Carpentier's The Kingdom of this World
  • Valerie Kaussen, Ghosts of Universal History
  • Peter Hallward, Self-Emancipation and the Politics of Violence in Haiti
Full details in the Conference Programme. The event is free of charge. Enquiries to Nick Nesbitt.

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created by Alasdair Pettinger Thu 4 Mar 2010 20:21 GMT+0000

Haiti and the Politics of the Universal

Haiti and the Politics of the Universal University of Aberdeen, March 12-13, 2010.

The Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) is pleased to announce a conference on the topic of 'Haiti and the Politics of the Universal'.

Since 1804, Haiti has named the founding, repressed, 'legitimate' violence of Western Modernity in its totality: both our spectral fantasies of slavery, revolutionary violence, and the 'failed state,' as well as the site of an eternally disavowed egalitarianism without compromise.

After two centuries of neglect and disavowal, the Haitian Revolution has suddenly become a fundamental reference point for global emancipatory politics, a touchstone for critical philosophers such as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, Susan Buck-Morss, Peter Hallward, and Hardt and Negri. This conference will address this contemporary theoretical turn in Haitian Studies, discussing Haiti's place in Atlantic Modernity and its central role in political history and theory since 1791. Topics will range from the world-historical significance of the Haitian Revolution to the place of Haiti in the global political order since 2004. The conference will bring together a mix of academic and activist speakers to discuss the broad historical, philosophical, and political implications of Haiti since 1791.

Confirmed speakers include: Peter Hallward, Susan Buck-Morss, Kim Ives, Deborah Jenson, Patrick Elie, Bruno Bosteels, Chris Bongie, Alberto Moreiras, and Nick Nesbitt.

For more information, please contact Nick Nesbitt.

Postscript (4 March): The programme for this event is now available: see more more recent post.

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created by Alasdair Pettinger Thu 19 Nov 2009 8:12 GMT+0000

Caribbean Enlightenment

Caribbean Enlightenment An Interdisciplinary Caribbean Studies Conference, University of Glasgow, 8-10 April 2010.

Keynote speakers: J Michael Dash (Professor of French, New York University); Paget Henry (Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, Brown University); Nick Nesbitt (Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen).

Call for Papers

In a speech widely regarded as instigating the series of events that would lead to the overthrow of the Lescot government in 1946, André Breton's proclamation of Haiti's 'inalienable enthusiasm for liberty and its affirmation of dignity above all obstacles' articulated the enduring revolutionary conviction in the Enlightenment-inspired principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. This artistic, cultural and political expression of a universal right to freedom and self-determination reflects the diverse and complex ways in which Enlightenment ideals have found expression in the Caribbean. From the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 to The Black Jacobins, surrealism, négritude, and the contemporary writings of such theorists as Antonion Benítez-Rojo, Édouard Glissant, and Wilson Harris, the interrogation of universality has both contributed to the ongoing dissemination and of creolization of Enlightenment discourse and has subjected it to a thorough critique. This conference aims to explore the various ways in which the site of the Caribbean, with its writers, artists, revolutionaries, and diverse peoples, has adapted and questioned the legacies of the Enlightenment. Acknowledging the Caribbean's crucial role in the Atlantic world, the Enlightenment's history of empire building and slave rebellions, colonial domination and postcolonial nation-building, the valorization of reason and its role in the division of knowledge, will be interrogated against the dissemination of a discourse promoting universal human rights, democracy and equality.

The conference seeks to bring together interdisciplinary perspectives on Enlightenment themes, both historical and contemporary, in order to trace the spread of a universalist discourse across the Caribbean. This conference invites papers that explore figurations of the universal within the Caribbean context, noting the region's national and linguistic divides in order to expose the ways in which such ideals have been adapted to express the particular experience of the Caribbean peoples. Finally, we pose the question: 'does the commitment to universalism amount to a totalizing discourse, or can universality be revisioned?'

We invite papers and panel suggestions that deal with any aspect of Caribbean Enlightenment, but which may include:
  • Reason and rule of law
  • Revolutionas and uprisings
  • Shortcomings of the Enlightenment: slavery and racism
  • Development of 'improvement' in technologies, medicine and language
  • Universal human rights, democracy, Marxism, self-determination
  • Economics of Caribbean Enlightenment
  • The impact of Surrealism
  • Négritude and the universal
  • Appraisals of The Black Jacobins
  • Contemporary Caribbean literature/philosophy and universality 'revisioned'
  • Gendered, gay, racial, and class perspectives on universality
  • Religion and the Caribbean
  • Caribbean thought and 'post-continental' philosophy
Please send panel proposals and/or paper abstracts (300 words) with a brief biographical statement (150 words) to Lorna Burns and Michael Morris at caribbeanenlightenment@googlemail.com by 16 December 2009.

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created by Alasdair Pettinger Thu 19 Nov 2009 7:54 GMT+0000

From Duvalier to Preval

From Duvalier to Preval: Haiti Today and Yesterday International Conference at the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, 21 and 22 June, 2010.

Call for Papers and Expression of Interest

In 1979 Dr David Nicholls published a widely acclaimed book From Dessalines to Duvalier and followed it shortly after with another on Haiti in Caribbean Context. The aim of this two-day conference is to explore themes developed in these books and relate them to understanding and developing Haiti today.

The first day will examine the contemporary and historical evolution of politics in Haiti and how it relates to prospects for economic and social development today. Invited speakers will address these themes from both an academic and development practitioner viewpoint.

The second day will examine the present and past position of Haiti in the Caribbean and how it relates to the region and to the wider world. Again invited speakers will address these themes from both an academic and a practitioner viewpoint.

Proposals for papers on the themes of both days and/or expressions of interest in attending should be sent by 31 December 2009 to Paul Sutton or Kate Quinn. Proposals for papers should have a title and a short summary of the themes to be discussed.

The conference is being supported by the David Nicholls Memorial Trust and some financial support for those presenting papers at the conference may be made available.

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created by Alasdair Pettinger Thu 19 Nov 2009 7:30 GMT+0000