Sibylle Fischer is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literature, and Africana Studies at New York University. She is the author of Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (2004), which received the 2005 Frantz Fanon Award of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, the 2006 Katherine Singer Kovacs Award of the Modern Language Association, and the 2006 Bryce Wood Award of the Latin American Studies Association. She is also the editor of Cecilia Valdes or El Angel Hill (2005). The present essay is part of a new project on the politics and ethics of representations of violence in the Caribbean.
Veronica Marie Gregg teaches at Hunter College, City University of New York. Her published work includes Jean Rhys’s Historical Imagination (1995) and Caribbean Women: An Anthology of Non-Fiction Writing, 1890–1980 (2005), as well as several articles on Anglophone Caribbean literature.
Edouard Duval Carrié was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1954. He first exhibited in 1980 at the Centre d’Art in Port au Prince. In 1988–1989 he participated in “Revolution sous les Tropiques,” France’s Cooperation Ministry’s project for the celebration of the Bicentennial of French Revolution. In 1992 he had a site-specific installation at Ouidah, Benin, for the first Vaudou Cultures Festival; in 1997 he had an installation, “Vaudou Pantheon,” at the Nexus Center, Atlanta, organized by the Cultural Olympiads; and in 2005, there was a retrospective of his work at the Figge Museum in Davenport. Later this year (2007) a major study of his work Continental Shifts: the Art of Edouard Duval Carrié, edited by Edward Sullivan, will be published by Arte al Dia. He lives in Miami Beach and works in Little Haiti, Miami.
Analyzing the ongoing problem of Caribbean racial exploitation, particularly fear signified through one of the most potent Caribbean symbols, dreadlocks, I argue that Medusa's alterity is altered by Rastafarians' snake-like hair, but the transformative power of Rasta dreadlocks is contested through certain cinematic depictions of dread.
Kevin Frank was born and raised in Guyana. He received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has an abiding teaching and research interest in Caribbean and other African diaspora, colonial, postcolonial, and gender studies. He currently teaches English and Caribbean Studies at Baruch College, City University of New York.
Christopher Cozier is an artist and writer living and working in Trinidad, and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Academy of The University of Trinidad & Tobago. He is an adviser to CCA7 in Port of Spain and has been an editorial adviser to BOMB magazine. In 2004 he was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. In 2006, “Uncomfortable: the Art of Christopher Cozier,” a documentary by Canadian video artist Richard Fung was released. He will be artist in residence at Dartmouth College in the Fall of 2007.
Few Jamaican visual artists have been able to capture the quintessence of Jamaican identity in the way that Ras Daniel Heartman did, exposing powerful images of Rastafari that are unequalled in any genre. While reggae music provided a soundtrack to the conscious struggle for self-determination, Ras Daniel's work parallels that aesthetic in the visual arts.
Ama (Tracey-Anne Clarke) is an anthropologist and social development consultant who lectures in Arts Administration at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, Kingston. She is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, developing a policy-activist approach to assess the position of arts and cultural industries in the Jamaican economy.
Garfield Ellis is a two-time James Michener Fellow at the Caribbean Writers Institute (1992 and 1993). In his varied career, he has worked as a marine engineering osfficer, placement director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, and as both the circulation and operations manager of the Jamaica Observer. He is the winner of a number of prizes, including the Una Marson and Canute A. Brodhurst awards. He is the author of four published books: two short story collections, Flaming Hearts & Other Stories (1996), Wake Rasta & Other Stories (2001), and two novels, Such As I Have (2003), For Nothing at All (2005). He lives and works in Jamaica.
Dave Williams is a Trinidad-based performance artist and choreographer who uses elements of dance to re-present archetypes and stereotypes of our circumstance. In an attempt to manipulate the way we perceive, reference and interpret our responses and actions, he is now exploring media beyond the stage.
Richard Rawlins is a Trinidad-based artist who works in design and advertising. He has had a distinguished career featuring international and local awards spanning four agencies, all with international affiliations. His work is characterized by a commitment to relevant concepts and unique and inspiring design. He has worked in all areas of communication arts from retail to corporate to pro bono to urban art and social commentary.
Some critics contend that the visual language of abstraction or conceptual art cannot translate “Caribbeanness.” This essay considers the work of several contemporary Caribbean artists who highlight how the “picturesque” paintings so favored by detractors were historically constructed to erase the multiple realities and visual imaginaries of the islands.
Krista A. Thompson is an independent curator and assistant professor of African Diaspora and African Art at Northwestern University, Evanston. She is the author of An Eye for theTropics: Tourism, Photography, and Framing the Caribbean Picturesque (2006), and is currently working on a book manuscript and documentary on visual culture and black youth in the Caribbean and Southern United States, reflecting in part on the diasporic impact of hip hop.
Nikolai Noel is a Trinidad-based artist. He attended the John Donaldson Technical Institute then entered the world of commercial video production as an animator. He began to exhibit in 2000, and has shown work every year since then. In 2002 he had his first solo show.
In contemporary Jamaica, funerals increasingly revolve around fantasy coffins and designer caskets. This paper attempts to marshal visual and textual information describing recent developments in Jamaican funerals with a view to recording attempts by the Jamaican underclasses to produce prestige for themselves in the face of an ever-effacing violence.
Annie Paul is a writer and critic based at the University of the West Indies, Mona, where she is head of the Publications Section at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies. She is associate editor of the Cultures and Globalization Series, Sage, and the recipient of a grant from the Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands) in support of her book project, “Suitable Subjects: Visual Art and Popular Culture in Postcolonial Jamaica.” She was one of the founding editors of the original Caribbean Review of Books and has been published in international journals such as Art Journal, Wasafiri, South Atlantic Quarterly, Callaloo and BOMB.
This essay reads Madison Smartt Bell's Haitian trilogy in the context of contemporary Haitian literature, and considers why Haitian writers have tended not to evoke the revolution in their work, and why it is an American author has produced the most ambitious work of Haitian historical fiction of recent times.
Martin Munro is senior lecturer in French and Francophone literatures at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He is the author of Shaping and Reshaping the Caribbean: The Work of Aimé Césaire and René Depestre (2000) and Exile and Post-1946 Haitian Literature (2007), and co-editor of Reinterpreting the Haitian Revolution and its Cultural Aftershocks (2006).
This essay discusses the ways in which Madison Smartt Bell's novel The Stone That the Builder Refused represents the history of the Haitian Revolution, and particularly the figure of Toussaint Louverture. It argues that the novel engages usefully with the problem of how we can and should grasp this revolution and its political meaning.
Laurent Dubois is currently associate professor of history at Michigan State University, but will take up a position as professor of romance studies and history at Duke University in the fall of 2007. He is the author ofAvengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004), A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804 (2004), which won Frederick Douglass Prize, and (with John Garrigus), Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789–1804: A Brief History With Documents (2006). He is now writing a general history of the Caribbean and a book about soccer and race in France.
Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo is senior lecturer in French and head of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of the West Indies, Mona. Her most recent publications include, “La Diffusion de la littérature haïtienne en France: Quelle reconnaissance?” (Critique nos. 711–712, août-septembre 2006), and “Bay kou blye, Pote mak sonje: Le Massacre de 1937 dans les romans haïtiens” (in C. Lerat [ed.] Le Monde Caraïbe: Défis et Dynamiques ).
Central to Madison Smartt Bell's trilogy of novels on the Haitian Revolution is the character of Toussaint Louverture. The article considers how Bell's Toussaint fits into two centuries of representations of the revolutionary leader, exploring in particular the ways in which his character is to be situated between historiography and fiction. It addresses the extensive documentary foundations of Bell's fictional account, while highlighting the imagined interpretations essential to this refiguring of the revolutionary.
Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool, UK. His recent publications include Victor Segalen and the Aesthetics of Diversity (2000), Travel in Twentieth-Century French and Francophone Cultures: The Persistence of Diversity (2005), and Francophone Postcolonial Studies: A Critical Introduction (2003). He is a Fellow of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery.
This essay responds to four critics who discuss Bell's trilogy of novels about the Haitian Revolution—All Souls' Rising, Master of the Crossroads, The Stone That the Builder Refused. Particular attention is paid to the idea of a French royalist plot behind the slave insurrection of 1791 and the role of Vodou in the revolution.
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels including, The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), Waiting for the End of the World (1985), Straight Cut (1986), The Year of Silence (1987), Doctor Sleep (1991), Save Me, Joe Louis (1993), and Ten Indians (1997). In 1995, All Souls’ Rising, the first of his trilogy on the Haitian Revolution, was published; followed by Master of the Crossroads (2000), and The Stone That The Builder Refused (2004). Most recently he is the author of the biography, Toussaint Louverture: A Life (2007). Born and raised in Tennessee, he now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he is professor of English at Goucher College, Baltimore, and director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing.