Unfinished Revolution is the first study to gather nineteenth-century representations and performances of Haitian sovereignty in the Atlantic world. In assembling this undiscovered archive of black power, this book offers compelling evidence of the ways that sovereignty and blackness intersect with unstable processes of modernity to produce an articulation of black authority always, already under threat for eradication or ridicule. Undeterred, nineteenth-century Haitian leaders mounted a century’s-long battle to situate Haiti at the centre of the Atlantic world.
During the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, arguably the most radical revolution of the modern world, slaves and former slaves succeeded in ending slavery and establishing an independent state. Yet on the Spanish island of Cuba, barely fifty miles away, the events in Haiti helped usher in the antithesis of revolutionary emancipation. When Cuban planters and authorities saw the devastation of the neighbouring colony, they rushed to fill the void left in the world market for sugar, to buttress the institutions of slavery and colonial rule, and to prevent “another Haiti” from happening in their territory. Freedom’s Mirror follows the reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, where the violent entrenchment of slavery occurred at the very moment that the Haitian Revolution provided a powerful and proximate example of slaves destroying slavery. By creatively linking two stories – the story of the Haitian Revolution and that of the rise of Cuban slave society – that are usually told separately, Ada Ferrer sheds fresh light on both of these crucial moments in Caribbean and Atlantic history.
In this path-breaking work, Susan Buck-Morss draws new connections between history, inequality, social conflict, and human emancipation. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History offers a fundamental reinterpretation of Hegel's master-slave dialectic and points to a way forward to free critical theoretical practice from the prison-house of its own debates.
InHaiti, History, and the Gods,Joan Dayan charts the cultural imagination of Haiti not only by reconstructing the island's history but by highlighting ambiguities and complexities that have been ignored. She investigates the confrontational space in which Haiti is created and recreated in fiction and fact, text and ritual, discourse and practice. Dayan's ambitious project is a research tour de force that gives human dimensions to this eighteenth-century French colony and provides a template for understanding the Haiti of today. In examining the complex social fabric of French Saint-Domingue, which in 1804 became Haiti, Dayan uncovers a silenced, submerged past. Instead of relying on familiar sources to reconstruct Haitian history, she uses a startling diversity of voices that have previously been unheard. Many of the materials recovered here-overlooked or repressed historical texts, legal documents, religious works, secret memoirs, letters, and literary fictions-have never been translated into English. Others, such as Marie Vieux Chauvet's radical novel of vodou,Fonds des Nègres, are seldom used as historical sources. Dayan also argues provocatively for the consideration of both vodou rituals and narrative fiction as repositories of history. Her scholarship is enriched by the insights she has gleaned from conversations and experiences during her many trips to Haiti over the past twenty years. Taken together, the material presented inHaiti, History, and the Godsnot only restores a lost chapter of Haitian history but suggests necessary revisions to the accepted histories of the New World.
In the euphoria that followed the departure of Haiti's hated dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier, most Haitian and foreign analysts treated the regimes of the two Duvaliers, father and son, as a…