Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism

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Migrant Revolutions: Haitian Literature, Globalization, and U.S. Imperialism interprets Haitian literature in a transnational context of anticolonial-and antiglobalization-politics. Positing a materialist and historicized account of Haitian literary modernity, it traces the themes of slavery, labor migration, diaspora, and revolution in works by Jacques Roumain, Marie Chauvet, Edwidge Danticat, and others. Valerie Kaussen argues that the sociocultural effects of U.S. imperialism have renewed and expanded the relevance of the universal political ideals that informed Haiti's eighteenth-century slave revolt and war of decolonization. Finally, Migrant Revolutions locates Haitian literary modernity at the forefront of the struggles against transnational empire and global colonialism.

About the Author:
Valerie Kaussen is associate professor of French at the University of Missouri-Columbia

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Editorial Reviews

H. Adlai Murdoch
Professor Valerie Kaussen's Migrant Revolutions represents thoroughly researched and well-written scholarship. This book breaks new ground in its analysis of the various and contending forces that have shaped and subtended the production of Haitian literature in the twentieth century. By analyzing a set of key themes, including Haitian revolutionary traditions, labor practices under U.S. occupation, and global migrations of people and capital, she successfully challenges prevailing attitudes of colonialism and slavery, through global ideologies of materialism and capitalist modernity to the role of social movements like noirisme and indigenisme. I am confident that this work will make an important contribution to the fields of Francophone cultural studies and Haitian studies.
August 2008 CHOICE
A valuable study of Haiti's Marxist literary tradition....Recommended.
J. Michael Dash
Inspired by the reevaluation of the Haitian Revolution as central to the project of modernity in the Americas, Migrant Revolutions treats writing after the U.S. intervention as a continuation of the revolutionary ideals of 1804. Kaussen perceptively constructs modern Haitian narratives as essentially urban ethnographies and fictions of displacement provoked by the disruptive effect of U.S. imperialism. Her rereading of Jacques Roumain, Marie Chauvet and Edwidge Danticat will certainly have a great impact on the field of Caribbean and francophone studies.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Valerie Kaussen is associate professor of French at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Preface     ix
Introduction: Engaging Creolization and Postcolonial Theory     1
Modernism, Migration, and the U.S. Occupation in Early Indigenisme     27
The Market in Bodies and Souls: Transnational Labor and the Haitian Revolution in Maurice Casseus's Viejo     67
Slaves, Viejos, and the Internationale: The Marxist Novels of Jacques Roumain and Jacques-Stephen Alexis     101
Decolonization, Revolution, and Postmodernity in Marie Chauvet's Amour     147
Revealing Is Healing: The Memory of Collective Politics in Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker and The Farming of Bones     185
Conclusion     221
Bibliography     225
Index     237
About the Author     245
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