This dissertation shows how late-nineteenth-century U.S. politicians and diplomats, including Frederick Douglass himself, sought to re-shape rhetorical constructions of Haiti such that it could be considered a vital member of the Atlantic world.
Throughout the United States occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934, the U.S. government and its supporters were forced to defend the legitimacy of American action. In order to justify it to the American public, officials and journalists created a dichotomy of capacity between an inferior Haiti and a superior U.S., and they presented the occupation as a charitable civilizing mission.
This paper presents an anthropological examination of touristic representations of Haiti throughout the 20th century. I dentify three main themes - Racism and "The Negro Question," Haitian Revolutionary Intrigue, and Voodoo Mystique - that illustrate a dominant discourse, but later transform these touristic sights into bona fide tourist sites.