Haiti’s Past and Present through Literature

This course will examine the historical narratives of Haiti’s past and how they seek to explain the themes of exploitation and corruption that have characterized the country’s present. We will read about the individuals and events of Haitian history and explore the often catastrophic effects that the cultural forces of colonialism, racism, and imperialism have had on the nation’s development. From plays recounting the Haitian revolution and Toussaint l’Ouverture, to prose fiction depicting daily life before, during, and after the 2010 earthquake, we will identify how literary works—through their language and themes—speak forcefully against the dominant narratives depicting the Haitian people as willing victims of their own history. Taught entirely in English, but with some basic French and Haitian Creole language instruction where appropriate. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2022-23).

2 units

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