AAIHS Book Club: Jean Casimir's "The Haitians" (Convenes Online in August)

Historians in the News
tags: books, Haiti, Haitian Revolution, Book Clubs

The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) is co-sponsoring an upcoming book club on Jean Casimir’s The Haitians: A Decolonial History, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2020. Organized by Brandon R. Byrd, Chelsea Stieber, and Shelby Sinclair, the book club begins in August. The club will feature four virtual, monthly meetings, free and open to the public. During these meetings, participants will focus the discussion on one of the following themes: translation; slavery and freedom; sovereignty and the state; and colonialism and decoloniality. Invited scholars will lead each discussion and lend their expertise to our collective attempt to re-think these themes, Haiti, and the world through The Haitians.

To help participants through The Haitians and our discussion, the co-conveners of the book club have created a companion website. Among other information and resources, participants will find a readers’ guide. This guide includes a suggested summer reading schedule to guide our shared engagement with The Haitians in advance of our virtual meetings this fall. Thanks to the University of North Carolina Press, readers can secure their copy of The Haitians through the UNC Press website at a 40% discount using the code 01DAH40.

Finally, we are excited to share that the book club will culminate in a live, in-person event featuring the author, Jean Casimir. This keynote will be held in December 2021 and will feature a leading scholar in conversation with Casimir. Planning is underway and more details about this exciting conclusion to The Haitians book club are forthcoming. We hope you will join us for what anticipate will be a dynamic and interdisciplinary conversation, involving students and scholars in and outside of the academy.

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In this sweeping history, leading Haitian intellectual Jean Casimir argues that the story of Haiti should not begin with the usual image of Saint-Domingue as the richest colony of the eighteenth century. Rather, it begins with a reconstruction of how individuals from Africa, in the midst of the golden age of imperialism, created a sovereign society based on political imagination and a radical rejection of the colonial order, persisting even through the U.S. occupation in 1915.

Read entire article at Black Perspectives