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Migrant Revolutions

Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism

Valerie Kaussen

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Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism interprets Haitian literature in a transnational context of anti-colonial_and anti-globalization_politics. Positing a materialist and historicized account of Haitian literary modernity, it traces the themes of slavery, labor migration, diaspora, and revolution in works by Jacques Roumain, Marie Chauvet, Edwidge Danticat, and others. Author Valerie Kaussen argues that the sociocultural effects of U.S. imperialism have renewed and expanded the relevance of the universal political ideals that informed Haiti's eighteenth-century slave revolt and war of decolonization. Finally, Migrant Revolutions defines Haitian literary modernity as located at the forefront of the struggles against transnational empire and global colonialism. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 262Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-1636-4 • Hardback • December 2007 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-1637-1 • Paperback • June 2008 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-3016-2 • eBook • December 2007 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Valerie Kaussen is associate professor of French at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Engaging Creolization and Postcolonial Theory
Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Modernism, Migration and the US Occupation in EarlyIndigenisme
Chapter 3 Chapter 2. The Market in Bodies and Souls: Transnational Labor and the Haitian Revolution in Maurice Casseus'sViejo
Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Slaves,Viejos and theInternationale: the Marxist novels of Jacques Roumain and Jacques-Stephen Alexis
Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Decolonization, Revolution, and Postmodernity in Marie Chauvet's "Amour"
Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Revealing is Healing: The Memory of Collective Politics in Edwidge Danticat'sThe Dew Breaker andThe Farming of Bones
Chapter 7 Conclusion
Professor Valerie Kaussen's Migrant Revolutions represents thoroughly researched and well-written scholarship. This book breaks new ground in its analysis of the various and contending forces that have shaped and subtended the production of Haitian literature in the twentieth century. By analyzing a set of key themes, including Haitian revolutionary traditions, labor practices under U.S. occupation, and global migrations of people and capital, she successfully challenges prevailing attitudes of colonialism and slavery, through global ideologies of materialism and capitalist modernity to the role of social movements like noirisme and indigenisme. I am confident that this work will make an important contribution to the fields of Francophone cultural studies and Haitian studies.
H. Adlai Murdoch, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


A valuable study of Haiti's Marxist literary tradition....Recommended.
CHOICE, August 2008


Inspired by the reevaluation of the Haitian Revolution as central to the project of modernity in the Americas, Migrant Revolutions treats writing after the U.S. intervention as a continuation of the revolutionary ideals of 1804. Kaussen perceptively constructs modern Haitian narratives as essentially urban ethnographies and fictions of displacement provoked by the disruptive effect of U.S. imperialism. Her rereading of Jacques Roumain, Marie Chauvet and Edwidge Danticat will certainly have a great impact on the field of Caribbean and francophone studies.
J. Michael Dash, New York University


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