A Revindication of Haitian Futures: Beyond Disaster Discourses

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On 12 October the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), University of London relaunched its Caribbean Studies Seminar Series. The seminars actively promote intellectual engagement and knowledge exchange by providing scholars – including postgraduate students and early career researchers – with the opportunity to present their interdisciplinary, comparative and integrated research on the Caribbean.

You can watch the video of our inaugural lecture “A Revindication of Haitian Futures: Beyond Disaster Discourses followed by a Q&A on Haiti” given by Professor Mimi Sheller, Dean of the Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute here:

A Revindication of Haitian Futures: Beyond Disaster Discourses followed by a Q&A on Haiti

Speaker: Mimi Sheller (Dean of the Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute) 
Chair:  Shodona Kettle (UCL Institute of the Americas/Haiti Support Group)
Date: 12 October 2021. Registration link here.

The Republic of Haiti has been through many trials and tribulations in recent times, including the recent earthquake and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, as well as the ongoing aftermaths of the 2010 earthquake. Climate change has also brought hurricanes, droughts, flooding and landslides. The international community often finds it easy to slip into a “disaster discourse” which depicts Haiti as a problem to be solved and Haitians as victims to be rescued, or souls to be saved, hovering somewhere between resignation and resilience. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. In this talk I seek to re-situate external interpretations of Haiti’s predicament(s) through the lens of Haitian history and struggles, and its context within the wider Caribbean community. How can we re-frame Haiti’s future through a more positive understanding of its past and present situation?

Mimi Sheller, PhD, is Inaugural Dean of The Global School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts. Until July 2021 she was Professor of Sociology, Head of the Sociology Department, and founding Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is founding co-editor of the journal Mobilities and past President of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility. She helped to establish the “new mobilities paradigm” and is considered to be a key theorist in critical mobilities research and in Caribbean studies. She serves on the international Advisory Boards for the Society for Caribbean Research, the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at University of Pennsylvania, the Bauman Institute at the University of Leeds, the Asia Mobilities Research Network at Konkuk University, South Korea, and the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation. 

Sheller has published more than 125 articles and book chapters, and is the author or co-editor of fifteen books, including Advanced Introduction to Mobilities (Edward Elgar, 2021); Island Futures: Caribbean Survival in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2020); Mobility Justice: The Politics of Movement in an Age of Extremes (Verso, 2018); Aluminum Dreams: The Making of Light Modernity  (MIT Press, 2014); Citizenship from Below: Erotic Agency and Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2012); Consuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Routledge, 2003); and Democracy After Slavery: Black Publics and Peasant Radicalism in Haiti and Jamaica (Macmillan Caribbean, 2000). 

Organisers: Dr Eve Hayes de Kalaf (IMLR) and Dr Jack Webb (Manchester)

The Caribbean Studies Seminar Series is organised by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in collaboration with Race, Roots and Resistance (University of Manchester)

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