Smugglers, Migrants, and Demons: Passages of Wealth in the Haitian Caribbean

Dartmouth Events

Smugglers, Migrants, and Demons: Passages of Wealth in the Haitian Caribbean

Jeffrey S. Kahn '01 Academy Scholar Weatherhead Center for International Affairs Harvard University Assistant Professor of Anthropology University of California Davis

Friday, May 8, 2015
Silsby 317
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Free Food, Lectures & Seminars

The United States has long targeted Haiti for containment and quarantine. Over the past three decades, such measures have evolved into a framework of intensive extraterritorial maritime policing that has subjected certain forms of Haitian mobility to increasing scrutiny and constraint. Coast Guard patrols in Haitian waters, blocked mercantile routes, and potential confinement for migrants at sites like Guantánamo Bay have all become key features of American power projection in the region. Less visible than these sovereign performances, however, are the Haitian cosmologies of circulation, refuge, and wealth that have developed in dynamic tension with the militarization of Caribbean seascapes. This talk examines the maritime narratives and practices that Haitians have used to map a vast moral and economic geography onto the liquid borderlands that surround their island nation. The vision of a radically free Caribbean that lies at the centerpiece of this precarious world provides a glimpse into Haitian oceanic imaginaries and the frontier dialectics through which they unfold.

For more information, contact:
Alyssa Loyless

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.