Haiti 2010 Dialogue Series

FALL 2010


February 15th-18th Haiti Awareness Week

Organized by SOCA (Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness)

  • Teach-in: Haiti’s Earthquake: Who’s to blame? Who’s responsible? (Feb 15 6pm Newcomb Hall 168) UVA faculty responding to student questions about Haitian history and politics preceding the earthquake.  Participants: Yarimar Bonilla, (Anthropology), Jalane Schmidt (Religuous Studies), George Mentore (Anthropology)

April 15 Slavery, Sin, and Spirits in Historical Narratives of Haiti

Guest Speaker: Elizabeth McAlister
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Wesleyan University

Followed by a commentary by Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

Elizabeth McAlister will discuss her ongoing research on contemporary American and Haitian evangelical relationships, and competing historical narrations of Haitian national history.

March 29th Lecture and Roundtable Discussion with Laurent Dubois

“Requiem” Edouard Duval Carrié, 1994

2:00pm Public Lecture for the History Department’s Public South Lecture Series (NECOMB HALL COMMONWEALTH ROOM)

“The Aftershocks of History in Haiti” Laurent Dubois Professor of French Studies and History, Duke University

4:45pm Round Table Discussion (NEWCOMB HALL ART GALLERY): A dialogue about how the academic community at UVA can contribute to the re-building of intellectual infrastructure in Haiti. Participants: Laurent Dubois (History, Duke Univ) &  Robert Fatton (Politics, UVA)

April 2nd NGOs, Humanitarianism, and the Media

As part of a larger UVA conference on Democracy, Media, and Diversity the UVA Haiti Working Group has organized the following two break-out sessions:

I. Mediating Disaster: Haiti and the Politics of Representation 10:00 AM Kaleidoscope Room, Newcomb Hall

From Pat Robertson ‘s literal demonizing of the Haitian revolution to the adoptive gaze cast on the bodies of Haitian children, this panel will center on recent portrayals of Haiti that have garnered public attention and the ways in which these serve to re-affirm centuries old myths and stereotypes of Haitian pathology.

  • Joel Dreyfuss, Journalist and Managing Editor, TheRoot
  • Wadner Pierre, Journalist and Blogger
  • Diane M. Hoffman, Associate Professor, Leadership, Foundations, & Policy, University of Virginia “What is an orphan?  The politics and culture of child rescue in Haiti”
  • Moderator: Z’etoile Imma

II. The Politics of Giving: Beyond Media Representations of Humanitarianism and Aid 11:15 AM Kaleidoscope Room, Newcomb Hall

“Ezili Intercepted” Edouard Duval Carrié, 1996

This session will critically examine discourses of humanitarianism, development, and non-profit organizations in the context of the Haitian Earthquake. How can we think critically about humanitarianism and development initiatives within a longer history of colonial “civilizing missions” and imperial interventions? How can we think of humanitarianism as a political endeavor? Have NGO’s contributed or hampered the development of civil society in Haiti?

  • Peter Redfield, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill “Humanitarian Action and the Scale of Disaster”
  • Jennie Smith-Pariola, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Otterbein College “Washing Hands, Wiping the Ground: a Critical Analysis of Aid to Haiti.”

April 9th One-day Conference

The Search for Solid Ground: Reimagining Haiti

This conference will bring together Haitian scholars and activists in order to discuss the contemporary political landscape in Haiti and the possibilities for social reconstruction. Rather than presenting Haiti as a political vacuum to be filled, we will examine past and current efforts by Haitians to organize and empower their communities in the context of what is often characterized as a failed state.  The conference will end with a lecture and multimedia presentation by Haitian Artist Edouard Duval Carrié.

9:00 am Healing Communities

Moderator: Todné T. Chipumuro, Doctoral Candidate, UVA Department of Anthropology

  • Dowoti Desir Manbo Asogwe, Haitian Vodou, Founder of DDPA Watch Group & OGUN Taskforce for Hait, “From the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave: A Haitian Revolution, Part III, Section 1”
  • Karen Richman Migration and Border Studies, Notre Dame University, “Run From the Earthquake, Fall Into The Abyss:  A Léogane Paradox”
  • Leslie Desmangles Religion and International Studies, Trinity College “Social and Religious Continuity and Discontinuity in post-earthquake Haiti”
  • Elizabeth McAlister, Religious Studies, Wesleyan University “The Haiti Quake and the Politics of Music: songs From the Rubble to the Telethon”

11:00 am Crisis, Violence, and Insecurity

Moderator: Z’étoile Imma, Doctoral Candidate, UVA Department of English

  • Hyppolite Pierre Executive Director, Institute for Research in Social Science and Politics, “Haiti: a Crisis of Political Structure and Leadership”
  • Erica James Anthropology, MIT, “When Emergency Becomes the Rule: Crisis Intervention and Reconstruction in Haiti.”
  • Peter Hallward Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, “Haiti and the Politics of Violence”
  • Michael Dash, French, New York University “Going Bananas: Haiti in its Caribbean Context”

2:30 pm Round Table Discussion: The Future of Haiti

Moderator: Alex Gil, Doctoral Candidate, UVA Department of English

5:00 PM Closing Event:  Haiti Beyond Bounds: A conversation with Haitian Artist Edouard Duval Carrié


  • SPECIAL GUEST: Edouard Duval-Carrié, painter, sculptor, curator, and director of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance

Haitian painter and sculptor, Édouard Duval Carrié was born in Port-au-Prince and lived in Puerto Rico, Montreal, and Paris before moving to Miami where he is actively engaged with the Haitian community and the promotion of Haitian culture and art. His art combines Haitian vodou, African fables, classical mythology, world history with contemporary events. In his brightly and provocative paintings, Édouard Duval Carrié appropriates and transforms visual elements of vodou to reinvent and reformulate the past and present.

April 14 Film Screening Poto Mitan

6:30pm Newcomb Theater

Panel discussion with anthropologist and filmmaker Mark Schuller, Screening of his film Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy Organized with the Human Rights Film Festival

Special Guests: Professor George Mentore (UVA Dept of Anthropology) & Partners in Health Representative Chris Stock

Told through compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, Poto Mitan gives the global economy a human face. Each woman’s personal story explains neoliberal globalization, how it is gendered, and how it impacts Haiti: inhumane working/living conditions, violence, poverty, lack of education, and poor health care. While Poto Mitan offers in-depth understanding of Haiti, its focus on women’s subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty, and resistance demonstrates these are global struggles. Finally, through their collective activism, these women demonstrate that despite monumental obstacles in a poor country like Haiti, collective action makes change possible.

April 22 From Charity to Solidarity

12:30-1:45pm, Minor Hall 125

What Solidarity Looks Like: Haiti, TransAfrica Forum, and the African World

SPECIAL GUEST: Imani Countess, Senior Director of Public Affairs, Trans Africa

Since 1977, TransAfrica Forum has worked to support organic democracy and human rights in Haiti while advocating that the U.S. implement fair economic and political policies with the Haitian government and its people. In the aftermath of the Jan 12 earthquake, TransAfrica activists have intensified their work in solidarity with Haiti, working vigilantly to assure that Haitian people are the leaders in the rebuilding of the nation and establishing Haiti’s place in the world economic and political construct. Ms. Imani Countess joins us to offer a report on her recent trip to Haiti and to contextualize TransAfrica Forum’s work with Haiti within the organization’s broader mission to to create closer and more just alliances between U.S. Americans, Africans, and Afro-descendant people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Haiti Dialogue Series is sponsored by: the Page Barbour Lecture Series, the South Atlantic Initiative, the Frank Batten School of Leadership, the Special Lectures Committee, the Carter Woodson Institute, Department of Anthropology, Department of French, Department of Religious Studies, Department of English, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, the McIntire Department of Music, the McIntire Department of Art, Studies in Women and Gender, Latin American Studies, Office of International Programs, the Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment and Retention, Graduate Student Diversity Programs in the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of African American Affairs.


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