UCLA French and Francophone Graduate Student Conference on 'Legacies of the 1804 Haitian Revolution'

"Pays reve, pays reel: Legacies of the 1804 Haitian Revolution," graduate student conference, October 22-23, 2004 with keynote speakers Dany Laferriere and Joan Dayan.

Friday, October 22, 2004
1:15 PM - 6:00 PM
Kerckhoff Grand Salon
UCLA campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

To mark the bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution and the foundation of the "premiere republique noire," the graduate students in the UCLA Dept. of French and Francophone Studies are presenting an interdisciplinary conference to revisit the themes that have become central to the fields of postcolonial, francophone, and ethnic studies: resistance, revolution, and nation-building.  Their goal is to encourage a re-examination of the first successful struggle for independence, and to consider it in light of the contemporary social and political realities of Haiti.  What are, today, the legacies of this first revolution?  Does the concept of "revolution" offer important means of self-definition for the Haitian people?  How is this concept related to questions of globalization, and how can Haiti reclaim a place in the global cultural market?

Dany Laferriere and Joan Dayan, distinguished guests and plenary speakers will provide insight to these and other questions.  Dany Laferriere is a Montreal-based Haitian writer; Joan Dayan is a literary and cultural critic.  Dany Laferriere's novels include the acclaimed Comment faire l'amour a un negre sans se fatiguer, and more recently, Le cri des oiseaux fous.  His oeuvre demonstrates that "the most important thing is not so much what happened to us [Haitians] but what we've made of this experience."  Joan Dayan's works include the English translation of Rene Depestre's collection of poems Un arc-en ciel pour l'occident chretien and Haiti, History, and the Gods.  In this latest work, she explores the ways in which cultural phenomena like Vodou rituals can be read as repositories of history.

Together, these speakers will help focus on the importance of lived experience in understanding history.  In Haiti, history is continually being re-configured in the performances of artists and writers, painters and dancers.  The conference goal is to bring together presenters who will explore from a variety of disciplinary perspectives the legacies and promises of the 1804 revolution both in Haiti and the diaspora.  Presentations will be from a variety of disciplines.

Françoise Lionnet, Marie-Denise Shelton, Robin Lauren Derby, Donald Cosentino, Andrew Apter

Friday, October 22
Session 1: Reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in Africa and the Americas
1:15 - 3 PM
Keynote Addresses, followed by Roundtable

Dany Laferrière, “Haïti: l'art face à la terreur”*

Joan Dayan, “Creole Pigs, Miami Rice, and Guantanamo”

3:30 –  6:00 pm
Reception immediately following

*Simultaneous translation from French

Saturday October 23
Session 2: The Politics of Culture and Culture as Political Engagement
9:00 – 10:45 am

Session 3: Perspectives on Haitian Women Writers
Session A
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Session 4: Perspectives on Haitian Women Writers
Session B
1:45 – 3:15 pm


Reception immediately following the final session on 6 PM.

Cost : free; parking is available in parking structure #4 for $7.

UCLA Dept. of French and Francophone Studies310-825-1145


Sponsor(s): , Sponsored by the graduate students of the UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies with contributions from Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation, ASUCLA Waiver Pool, The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center, UCLA Campus Programs Committee of the Program Activities Board, UCLA Center for Modern and Contemporary Studies, UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies, UCLA Graduate Students Association, UCLA Department of Art History, The Fowler Museum, Eugene Weber Chair of Modern European History.