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.
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.