Haiti and the anthropological imagination

Haiti and the anthropological imagination

In this article, the authors examine the ways Haiti was depicted in anthropological writings during the twentieth century, using the concept of the «anthropological imagination», which they define as an assemblage of representations and practices in the conceptual system of anthropology and the discipline’s communicative interaction. The focus is on the work of the Haitian ethnologist Jean Price-Mars, the American anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits, and the French sociologist Roger Bastide, examining the professional, social, institutional, and political commitments that lead them to construct «Haiti» as a place situated in time through their theoretical elaborations. The mutual influence of these scholars and their place in the development of Afro-American anthropology are documented, and a dialectical perspective is used to locate and explain their thought and intellectual production.

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