CfP: Haitian Studies Association 29th Annual Conference

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The formation of Haiti as a sovereign state and the emergence and evolution of its people and its culture have followed a complex route. Since the birth of the nation of Haiti, multiple hierarchies and interconnected systems of oppression and exclusion have engendered structural inequities with respect to Haitian citizenship. As the society has continued to claim equality and liberty, differentiated and unequal citizenship have actually prevailed, with social, racial, colored, and gendered social groups having different levels of rights of participation and belonging.

Colonial St. Domingue’s socio-political and economic landscape granted unequal access to power and privilege. The Haitian Revolution did not achieve a radical transformation of these unequal relations. Rather, the régime agraire of Toussaint Louverture and the Code Rural of Jean-Pierre Boyer reproduced the patterns of exploitation and exclusion of the slave society. These practices led to the construction of the category moun andeyò–the peasantry, a class of people whose severely limited access to power and resources render them the primary actors in waves of migration and the primary victims of natural disasters. Over time, the moun andeyò concept has been mapped onto other categories of people such as women, the urban poor, practitioners of Vodou, and people of different sexual orientations.

The Haitian Studies Association will hold its 29th Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, a site that offers scholars a look at how the “making of the people” occurs outside of the geopolitical spaces associated with a nation-state. Indeed, the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804 forced not only the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, but also the migration of slaves, slave owners, and free blacks and mulattos between the two former French territories. These movements of people led to the creation of new spaces where migrants linked to an emergent Haiti would become part of a new North American dynamic also characterized by inequalities and exclusion.
The questions that the Conference will seek to answer address the nature, scope, and dynamics of citizenship in the making of a Haitian people. We want to

  • examine, deconstruct, and reflect on the concept of rights;
  • critically engage the multiple and contested meaning of citizenship;
  • explore how the “right to have rights” has evolved in parallel in Louisiana/NOLA; and
  • observe and assess a paradox, where NOLA finds itself in a contradictory position, sponsoring many development projects in Haiti while similar features of exclusion and environmental catastrophes affect a large segment of its population (Hurricane Jeanne 2004, Hurricane Katrina 2005, Goudou Goudou 2010, and Hurricane Matthew 2016).

Finally, we want also to analyze issues of otherness, marginalization, exclusion, and struggles for inclusion in the “moral community of the nation.” We want to explore how citizens with partial or limited rights find ways to assert, reclaim, exercise, and redefine their rights within existing conditions created by enduring structural inequalities.

We seek a diverse set of scholarly interrogations of these themes from disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. We are especially interested in fully constituted panels, and will prioritize panels that speak directly to our themes and attempt an interdisciplinary dialogue.

Panel and roundtable proposals are to be no longer than 500 words, clearly listing the individual paper titles and authors. Individual paper abstracts should be around 250 words. Presenters are expected to register for the conference in advance to ensure their names are in the program.

We will be accepting proposals until June 1st, 2017.

Guidelines for Participation

General Submission Requirements

1. Contacts: For panel, roundtable, paper, video, art exhibit, or a performance please include the name, affiliation, and email for each individual participant.

2. Abstract: For individual proposals, videos, art exhibits, and performances, please submit a 250-word abstract and a 500-word summary for panels and roundtables. The overview should include:

  • Title
  • Purpose, goals, and objectives
  • Methodology, conclusions, and/or questions raised

For a panel proposal, please include a title and overview for each paper on the proposal form. Panels should include no more than three papers and a Chair/Discussant, who must be identified on the proposal form. Roundtable proposals should include no more than four participants plus a Chair/Moderator, who must also be identified on the proposal form.

Contact Information

It is essential that the contact information be listed for all those designated in the proposal form. For a group presentation please identify a primary contact person for notification of acceptance. HSA will contact only the Chair/Moderator.

Participation Limitation

HSA welcomes as many people as possible to participate in the conference. Therefore, each participant is limited to one paper presentation. However, a participant can perform two different roles—presenting a paper and chairing a panel, or presenting a paper and participating in a roundtable discussion.

Registration

Registration will begin in August. All presenters must be members of HSA to present, and must register and pay two weeks prior to the conference date to attend. If you are not a member yet, please join when you send your proposal.

Proposal Review and Selection Process

An anonymous review of conference proposals will be conducted by a minimum of two reviewers each. Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of quality and contribution to the theme of the conference.

Notification of Decision

Decision regarding acceptance of presentations will be announced by July 15, 2017.

Publication in the Journal of Haitian Studies

Manuscripts from selected abstracts and presentations can be submitted for publication in the Journal of Haitian Studies (JOHS) at the end of the conference. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and subject to an editing process prior to final acceptance. Manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere in similar form with substantially similar content. For information on the JOHS, please contact Dr. Claudine Michel atmichel@blackstudies.ucsb.edu .

Official Languages

The official languages of the conference are English, Kreyòl, and French. You may write your paper and present it in one of the three official languages. HSA will not provide translation or interpretation during presentations.

Submit a Proposal

Please ensure your abstract does not exceed maximum (250 words for individuals, 500 for panels and roundtables). If you are submitting a roundtable or panel, please make sure that the names, affiliations, emails, and proposal summaries for all panelists are included on this form.

Submit your proposal NOW!

Should you have questions regarding the proposal submission process, please email info@haitianstudies.org.

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