Stirring the Pot of Haitian History is the first-ever translation of Ti dife boule sou istoua Ayiti (1977), the earliest book written by Haitian anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot. Challenging understandings of two centuries of Haitian history, Trouillot analyzes the pivotal role of formerly enslaved Haitian revolutionaries in the Revolution and War of Independence (1791-1804), a generation of people who became the founders of the modern Haitian state and advanced the vibrant culture that flourishes in Haiti.
Mainstream news coverage of the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010, reproduced longstanding narratives of Haiti and stereotypes of Haitians. Cognizant that this Haiti, as it exists in the public sphere, is a rhetorically and graphically incarcerated one, the feminist anthropologist and performance artist Gina Athena Ulysse embarked on a writing spree that lasted over two years. As an ethnographer and a member of the diaspora, Ulysse delivers critical cultural analysis of geopolitics and daily life in a series of dispatches, op-eds and articles on post-quake Haiti.
Through an examination of such disciplinary keywords, and their silences, as the West, modernity, globalization, the state, culture, and the field, this book aims to explore the future of anthropology in the Twenty-first-century, by examining its past, its origins, and its conditions of possibility alongside the history of the North Atlantic world and the production of the West. In this significant book, Trouillot challenges contemporary anthropologists to question dominant narratives of globalization and to radically rethink the utility of the concept of culture, the emphasis upon fieldwork as the central methodology of the discipline, and the relationship between anthropologists and the people whom they study.
This book explores the cultural conversation about illness, healing, and morality in the Haitian countryside. When people fall ill, their search for effective treatment opens up a realm of complicated moral concerns. Certain kinds of illness, and the decision to seek out certain kinds of therapy, can raise disturbing questions about personal innocence and guilt. People must then reassert their moral worth, and they do this in specifically religious terms.
Placing the West’s failure to acknowledge the Haitian Revolution—the most successful slave revolt in history—alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history. This modern classic resides at the intersection of history, anthropology, Caribbean, African-American, and post-colonial studies, and has become a staple in college classrooms around the country. In a new foreword, Hazel Carby explains the book’s enduring importance to these fields of study and introduces a new generation of readers to Trouillot’s brilliant analysis of power and history’s silences.