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Products for grant FEL-272993-21

Awakening the Ashes: An Intellectual History of Haiti
Marlene Daut, University of Virginia

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Awakening the Ashes: An Intellectual History of the Haitian Revolution (Book)
Title: Awakening the Ashes: An Intellectual History of the Haitian Revolution
Author: Marlene L. Daut
Abstract: The Haitian Revolution (1791-1803) and the establishment of independent Haiti (1804) were powerful blows against colonialism and slavery. It was the Haitian Revolution that forced anticolonial, antislavery, and antiracist ideals into modern political grammar, and as Awakening the Ashes demonstrates, it was the early state(s) of Haiti that ensured they stayed there. All of Haiti’s first constitutions outlawed slavery and contained anti-conquest clauses that barred Haiti’s leaders from expanding the boundaries of the new nation, for example. This made Haiti not only the first state in the Americas to permanently abolish slavery, but to ban imperial rule. At the same time, Haitians were establishing their national existence in a hostile Atlantic World, and Haitian thought was deeply shaped by this unique context. Ongoing slavery in the Americas and continuous threats to their independence from France and the other colonial powers, compelled Haitian writers, politicians, activists, and intellectuals to develop profoundly new ways of writing about colonialism and race, slavery and revolution, freedom and sovereignty. To combat racist distortions of their struggle for liberty and independence, early Haitian writers sought to craft a national narrative of their revolution that would be written by them rather than by white Europeans. By “awakening the ashes” of their ancestors from the 15th- to the 18th-centuries to tell their story, Haitian writers transformed the way history was written in ways that still inflect scholarly practice today. What this intellectual history of the Haitian Revolution shows is that understanding the development of freedom from slavery and liberty from colonial rule as humanistic imperatives necessarily involves engaging with and recognizing the importance the importance of Haitian revolutionary thought.
Year: 2023
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Type: Single author monograph
Copy sent to NEH?: No