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Ecotheories Colloquium: “Black Star: Charles Hérard-Dumesle’s Haitian Naturalism”

Monique Allewaert, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Wed, 3/20 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 111 East Pyne

Department of English

Early Haitian historian, scientist, and poet Charles Hérard-Dumesle’s massive natural history “Voyage dans le nord d’Hayti” (1824) proposes that colonialism’s best trick was convincing imperialists and almost everyone else that there is only one nature the world over. His book, including its famous poetic account of the 1791 Bwa Kaiman Vodou ceremony, assays a natural history that joins together poetics, other-than-human forces, and the history of the dispossessed to forge a decolonial nature that serves Haitian sovereignty. Allewaert argues that Hérard-Dumesle’s Haitian natural history contested not simply the intellectual legacy of imperial natural history but the materiality of nature itself.



English Department (primary), The High Meadows Environmental Institute, The Princeton Blue Lab, The Bain-Swiggett Poetry Fund, The Effron Center for the Study of America, The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities, The University Center for Human Values, The Environmental Humanities & Social Transformation Colloquium, The Fluid Futures Forum

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