Haiti Lab: Research Projects & Working Groups
The Haiti Lab supports a number of collaborative research projects linking faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates from different disciplines and schools. Faculty and graduate students who are preparing research in a Haitian studies field may volunteer to present in the "Soon to Be Hot Off the Press" working group. Duke faculty members with excellent French skills and an interest in the Haitian Revolution are welcome to apply to participate in our spring teleconferencing seminar with Haitian faculty. Graduate students may also request an individual independent study directly with a Haiti Lab faculty member (to be considered on the same basis as any other independent study request).
The Haiti Lab cholera project was launched shortly after cholera appeared in Haiti in October of 2010. It led to a November 2011 article and digital map by Deborah Jenson, Victoria Szabo, and the Haiti Lab Student Research Team in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. In the next phase of the project, we are focusing specifically on the human rights of Haitian immigrants in the context of epidemiological crisis, with emphasis on Haitian immigration to border cities in Brazil. [Time map link updated 2/13/13]
Preparation of a translation and annotated and illustrated edition of the 18th century Creole opera Jeannot et Thérèse by Laurent Dubois, Deborah Jenson, musicologist Bernard Camier and artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. Jeannot et Thérèse is a Creole version of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau opera Le Devin du village, which enjoyed great popularity in late colonial Saint-Domingue (Haiti).
Discourses of Trauma in Haiti
Supported by a PFIRST grant from the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, this project explores the relationship between PTSD diagnostic criteria, local cultural traditions, and availability of mental health resources. The PFIRST “Discourses of Trauma in Haiti” project began with the administration of SPRINT-E PTSD questionnaires, along with qualitative interviews on participants’ earthquake experiences, in October of 2010 (pilot data), summer of 2011, and summer of 2012. The study explores the validity of PTSD diagnostic criteria in Haiti, as well as optimal treatment strategies in relation to the fit between diagnostic criteria, local cultural traditions, and the availability of mental health resources. This project has connected Duke faculty and students with mental health and anthropological experts in Haiti, the US, France, and the francophone Caribbean.
Duke-Université d’Etat d’Haïti Virtual Seminar and Conference
Co-Directed by former Haitian Ambassador and former Duke Mellon Visiting Professor Jean Casimir and Deborah Jenson, with Laurent Dubois, this seminar, conducted in French by video-conferencing, will study archival texts of the Haitian Revolution and their significance for public humanities culture in Haiti today. Duke faculty participants with excellent French skills and an interest in the Haitian Revolution will work together with Haitian faculty members on analysis of the literary legacies of Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Haiti Digital Library / Bibliyotèk Dijital Ayisyen / Bibliothèque Digitale sur Haïti
The Haiti Digital Library is a trilingual database of online resources about Haiti, specifically historical materials relating to the country and writings by Haitian authors.
Haiti: History Embedded in Amber
Led by renowned artist Edouard Duval-Carrié, Haiti: History Embedded in Amber brought together faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and visitors in the process. The artwork was made using resin and transparencies to create a stained glass effect, and was designed on the theme of disaster, cultural fragmentation, and the recovery “montage” visible throughout the area affected by the earthquake. Students and faculty collaborated to select historical materials to be included in the design, and members of the project worked together and individually to design each tile. The work is now on permanent view in the FHI Garage. Please visit the installation website or watch this YouTube Video to learn more about the making of the work.
In the summer of 2012, Laurent Dubois received funding from the NEH, in collaboration with Benjamin Hebblethwaite at the University of Florida and other colleagues, to create a “Vodou Archive”: an online library of songs, images, videos, and texts relating to Haitian Vodou. In Fall 2012, two students affiliated with the lab – an MFA student in the Center for Documentary Studies, Eric Barstow, and a PhD student in History, Claire Payton – went on a week-long research trip to Gonaïves, Haiti, where they recorded rituals for the Haitian lwa (god) Gede and interviewed a priest and other members of the religious community there. These materials will be edited and made available through the Digital Library of the Caribbean as a resource to researchers.