Open Source Archives

We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration and the implementation of progressive and  participatory research methods, with the goal of generating tangible, durable changes in the way research about Haiti is conceptualized, implemented and applied.


Research Hub & Open Source Archives

EKO HAITI Research Hub is a research and knowledge mobilization platform focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and associated research-based learning. We aim to become the intellectual “home” for research about Haiti by creating and providing open access to the largest crowdsourced research archive dedicated to Haiti, by fostering cross-disciplinary research and innovation, and by providing support for progressive research in the form of contextual expertise and training.

“The trees fall from time to time, but the voice of the forest never loses its power. Life begins.”

Jacques Alexis, Les Arbres Musiciens (Paris, 1957)
Haiti is the birthplace of a rich literary heritage that deserves more attention. Haitian authors open a window into this Caribbean nation’s vibrant culture and tumultuous history.

EKO HAITI collections include all works, published and unpublished by Anthropologists Gerald Murray, Glenn Smucker and Timothy Schwartz
Dedicated to the late great, Kreyolicious (Katheline St. Fort), our photographs archives holds a large collection of images dating back to the late 1800's .
40 years of development reports, evaluations and survey databases many of which are not publicly available, are buried in drawers, closets, private libraries of NGOs and government donors.


Oral histories are a powerful tool in developing historical understanding

Oral history offers an alternative to conventional history, filling gaps in traditional research with personal accounts of historically significant events or simply life in a specific place and time. Oral histories do more than provide charming details to dry historical accounts. In fact, oral histories help others recapture lived experiences that are not written down in traditional sources.

> Transcripts archive

" Bwa pi wo di li wè lwen, men grenn pwomennen di li wè pi lwen pase l "

The tallest tree says that it sees far, but the seed that travels says that it sees even further.



As an independent institute, we rely on crowdsourcing and donations to continue expanding the depth and scope of our archives.  Your contribution enable us to provide open access to a vast collection of ethnographic and research material which in turn aims at fostering further research and contribute to a better understanding of the country.

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. Their goal was to ensure that even though Haiti began the nineteenth century as a country disavowed, ignored, feared, and rejected by almost every Atlantic nation-state, it would end that same century—at least in the form of its pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893—as something quite different. As I demonstrate, the Fair was meant to reposition Haiti not only within the Atlantic region but also within constructions of global modernism: not as an antithesis to or problem of modernity, but rather as an exemplar of its possibilities for political, social, and economic advancement.

This alternative history conflicts with the “narrative[s] of stigma” that tend to surround Haiti. While I agree with Caribbeanist Colin Dayan’s assessment of Haiti’s stigmatization, I argue that this stigma accounts for some but not all of the assumptions that undergird what I identify in a larger sense as the Haitian Question. Although I call it the Haitian Question, it is actually neither one question, nor a singular issue phrased in the form of a problem or query. Rather, the Haitian Question is best understood as a collection of inferences or suppositions concerning Haiti, some but not all of which signify a lack or deficiency.

In the chapters that follow, I explore the ways that other rhetorics—those of economic reciprocity, political equality, and racial inclusion—share space with the stories of stigma and degeneracy under the broader umbrella of the Haitian Question. In so doing, this dissertation urges critics to expand their considerations of the narratives of Haiti to include rhetorical forms and historical moments that stand in opposition to the notions of dysfunction and abjection. It is by analyzing these complex forms and moments that we will be able to fully chart the possibilities, the perils, and the price of Haiti’s identification as a modern nation-state. As I argue in my dissertation, examining Haiti’s participation at the Chicago World’s Fair is an important first step in this larger process of re-assessing the economic, political, and racial dynamics that have determined—and continue to determine—its role both in the Atlantic region and on the modern global stage.

Such a perspective allows us to see how crucial Haitian proximity was—and remains—to U.S. militarized zones and key trade sites. Throughout the nineteenth century, this proximity would translate into a series of often-conflicting desires on the part of the U.S.: to denounce, to isolate, to protect, to possess, and to control Haiti. These desires are connected not only to U.S. domestic, political, and cultural concerns (i.e. anxieties about a Haitian-style revolution on North American soil), but also to external pressures and tensions as the U.S. sought to limit the presence of Europeans in territories and trade zones of the Americas. Efforts to limit Europe’s presence often involved extending U.S. political friendship and trade reciprocity to Haiti—an extension made tangible in Haiti’s invitation to the Chicago World’s Fair—in an effort to control traffic in the Windward and Mona Passages, the two shipping lanes that bracket the island of Hispaniola (on which Haiti is situated) in the Caribbean. This dissertation argues that for these and other reasons, Haiti would be an essential location from which the U.S. could expand its reach even further into Latin America and the Caribbean.