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Tree of Liberty

Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World
Doris L. Garraway, ed.

BUY Cloth · 304 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813926858 · $69.50 · Apr 2008
BUY Paper · 304 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813926865 · $26.50 · Apr 2008

On January 1, 1804, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of Haiti, thus bringing to an end the only successful slave revolution in history and transforming the colony of Saint-Domingue into the second independent state in the Western Hemisphere. The historical significance of the Haitian Revolution has been addressed by numerous scholars, but the importance of the Revolution as a cultural and political phenomenon has only begun to be explored. Although the path-breaking work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot and Sibylle Fischer has illustrated the profound silences surrounding the Haitian Revolution in Western historiography and in Caribbean cultural production in the aftermath of the Revolution, contributors to this volume argue that, while suppressed and disavowed in some quarters, the Haitian Revolution nonetheless had an enduring cultural and political impact, particularly on peoples and communities that have been marginalized in the historical record and absent from the discourses of Western historiography.

Tree of Liberty interrogates the literary, historical, and political discourses that the Revolution produced and inspired across time and space and across national and linguistic boundaries. In so doing, it seeks to initiate a far-reaching discussion of the Revolution as a cultural and political phenomenon that shaped ideas about the Enlightenment, freedom, postcolonialism, and race in the modern Atlantic world.

Contributors:A. James Arnold, University of Virginia * Chris Bongie, Queen’s University * Paul Breslin, Northwestern University * Ada Ferrer, New York University * Doris L. Garraway, Northwestern University * E. Anthony Hurley, SUNY Stony Brook * Deborah Jenson, University of Wisconsin, Madison * Jean Jonassaint, Syracuse University * Valerie Kaussen, University of Missouri * Ifeoma C.K. Nwankwo, Vanderbilt University


An interesting and engaging collection. Tree of Liberty unites in a single volume the most recent, cutting-edge scholarship.... The book will no doubt become an important resource for anybody who teaches and studies issues relating to the Haitian Revolution, anticolonial struggles and postcolonialism, racial politics in the Americas, and francophone literatures.

Sibylle FischerNew York University, author of Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution

About the Author(s): 

Doris L. Garraway is Associate Professor of French at Northwestern University and the author of The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean.

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