HIST490: Contemporary History of Haiti from Ask.Metafilter
April 15, 2013 7:39 AM   Subscribe

In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
posted by fizzix to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This two-part roundtable on Haitian music from the New Yorker might interest you: part 1, part 2
posted by jfbeatty at 8:18 AM on April 15, 2013

Bonjour Blanc: A journey through Haiti.

I enjoyed this book a great deal, but have never been to Haiti, so I cannot say anything about whether the book is realistic/fair/etc. But it is a good read.
posted by artdesk at 9:39 AM on April 15, 2013

How about books by Paul Farmer such as "AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame" and "The Uses of Haiti". "Pathologies of Power" is not specifically about Haiti but it is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone working in international development or health.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 4:35 PM on April 15, 2013

Best answer: Have you read Amy Wilentz?

Here's an interview with her you might enjoy.
posted by nacho fries at 11:23 PM on April 15, 2013

Best answer: Michel Rolph Trouillot's meditation on Haitian history, Silencing the Past, is one of the most important works in the field -- it resonates in other areas of study because of the way it deals abstractly with public history, collective memory, power and narrative, but it's also just a beautifully written study of the Haitian Revolution and its many afterlives. Trouillot was an anthropologist too, so many of the chapters begin with these beautifully crafted and very personal reflections on his experience of the place, which might themselves be of interest to you. Here's a brief review by a professor who teaches it in his public history class. The book itself seems to be available in toto on Scribd (oh Scribd how I love thee).
posted by idlethink at 5:31 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

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