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1801-1840 – Haïti, between independance and restoration

1801-1840 – Haïti, entre indépendance et restauration

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Published on Friday, May 05, 2017 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

The goal of this two-day conference is to reconnect the pre- and post-revolutionary histories of independent Haiti, colonial Saint-Domingue and France. The immediate occasion of this conference is a new body of work—recent or forthcoming books by Trevor Bernard and John Garrigus, Paul Cheney, Pierre Force, Mary Lewis, Frédéric Régent and Bernard Gainot—that addresses the making and unmaking of French colonial society and its imperial structures.

Announcement

Argument

Michel Rolph-Trouillot once observed, with justice, that widespread disinterest among historians in the Haitian Revolution had the effect of silencing its principal actors and making slave self-emancipation “unthinkable” in the first-world historical imagination. Over the past couple of decades, however, this revolution has come to occupy a central place in historians’ understanding of the French Revolution in its global context, and in the influence of race and slavery on revolutionary ideology. Thanks to this scholarship, we know more than ever about the unfolding of events on the island of Hispaniola and their relation to metropolitan interests, actors and ideology. At the same time, the very classic chronological boundaries respected in most of this work—which runs from the immediate pre-revolution to Haitian independence in 1804, and sometimes slightly beyond—, as well as its insistently political thematic focus, have been limiting in at least two senses. First, work on the origins of the Haitian Revolution—and therefore the effect of Saint-Dominguan conflicts upon revolutionary dynamics within France—has been curiously cut off from an analysis of the plantation economy of the eighteenth century. Although the plantation remained the basic social and economic unit of Saint-Dominguan society, historians of the Haitian Revolution have largely focused their attention on conflicts in the multi-ethnic world of places like Port-au-Prince and Cap-Français. Second, the narrow chronological range of much of this work has made it difficult to connect trends in post-colonial Haiti and in Restoration France to the deep social and political structures that were put into place over the long eighteenth century. Despite the enthusiastic pronouncements of new Haitian elites and the despairing prognostications of Saint-Dominguan planters, these were not entirely unmade on either side of the Atlantic over a decade and a half of revolution.

The goal of this two-day conference is to reconnect the pre- and post-revolutionary histories of independent Haiti, colonial Saint-Domingue and France. The immediate occasion of this conference is a new body of work—recent or forthcoming books by Trevor Bernard and John Garrigus, Paul Cheney, Pierre Force, Mary Lewis, Frédéric Régent and Bernard Gainot—that addresses the making and unmaking of French colonial society and its imperial structures. In this work, we find an attention to : the plantation economy, its evolution in the final decades of the eighteenth century and the problems of a post-emancipation plantation economy ; the sometimes unstable structures of Atlantic trade that sustained the plantation complex ; evolving ideologies of colonial and racial rule ; patterns of immigration to Saint-Domingue and the creation of a shared elite ; the interdependence of household fortunes in metropolitan and colonial France ; the interrelation of Antillean island economies ; and the post-revolutionary reconstitution of economic and political power in Haiti and in France. We will put recently published work into conversation with scholarship in progress on Saint-Domingue.

Places

  • Université de Chicago à Paris - 6 rue Thomas Mann
    Paris, France (75013)

Date(s)

  • Friday, May 19, 2017
  • Saturday, May 20, 2017

Keywords

  • Haïti, Caraïbes, esclavage, abolition de l'esclavage, révolution, révolte

Contact(s)

  • Pierre Serna
    courriel : pierreserna [at] wanadoo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Alexis Darbon
    courriel : alexis [dot] darbon [at] ens [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« 1801-1840 – Haïti, between independance and restoration », Colloquium, Calenda, Published on Friday, May 05, 2017, http://calenda.org/404154