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Haints Cover

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Haints

American Ghosts, Millennial Passions, and Contemporary Gothic Fictions

Arthur Redding

In Haints, Arthur Redding examines the work of contemporary American authors who draw on the gothic tradition in their fiction, not as frivolous or supernatural entertainments, but to explore and memorialize the ghosts of their heritage.
 
Ghosts, Redding argues, serve as lasting witnesses to the legacies of slaves and indigenous peoples whose stories were lost in the remembrance or mistranslation of history. No matter how much Americans willingly or unwillingly repress the true history of their ancestry; their ghosts remain unburied and restless.

Such authors as Toni Morrison and Leslie Marmon Silko deploy the ghost as a means of reconciling their own violently repressed heritage with their identity as modern Americans. And just as our ancestors were haunted by ghosts of the past, today their descendents are haunted by ghosts of contemporary crises: urban violence, racial hatred, and even terrorism. In other cases that Redding studies—such as James Baldwin’s The Evidence of Things Not Seen and Toni Cade Bambara’s Those Bones Are Not My Child—gothic writers address similar crises to challenge traditional American claims of innocence and justice.
 
Finally, Redding argues that ghosts emphasize a growing worry about a larger impending crisis: the apocalypse. Yet the despair the apocalypse inspires is vital to providing the grounds for new solutions to modern issues. In the end, the armies of the dispossessed enlist the forces of the spirit world to create a better future—by ensuring that mistakes of the past are not repeated, that Americans do not deny their heritage, and that accountability exists for any given crisis.

 

 

Hair Matters Cover

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Hair Matters

Beauty, Power, and Black Women's Consciousness

Ingrid Banks

Long hair in the 60s, Afros in the early 70s, bobs in the 80s, fuschia in the 90s. Hair is one of the first attributes to catch our eye, not only because it reflects perceptions of attractiveness or unattractiveness, but also because it conveys important political, cultural, and social meanings, particularly in relation to group identity. Given that mainstream images of beauty do not privilege dark skin and tightly coiled hair, African American women's experience provides a starkly different perspective on the meaning of hair in social identity."
--National Women's Studies Association Journal

"Grab your copy at your local bookseller and get hip to what your hair is saying to others with regards to beauty, culture and politics. Learn about how culture has a love for coifs, because after all, so do you!"
Sophisticate's Black Hair Styles Guide

Drawing on interviews with over 50 women, from teens to seniors, Hair Matters is the first book on the politics of Black hair to be based on substantive, ethnographically informed research. Focusing on the everyday discussions that Black women have among themselves and about themselves, Ingrid Banks analyzes how talking about hair reveals Black women's ideas about race, gender, sexuality, beauty, and power. Ultimately, what emerges is a survey of Black women's consciousness within both their own communities and mainstream culture at large.

The Hairdresser of Harare Cover

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The Hairdresser of Harare

Like very good dark chocolate this is a delicious novel, with a bitter-sweet flavour. Vimbai is a hairdresser, the best in Mrs Khumalo's salon, and she knows she is the queen on whom they all depend. Her situation is reversed when the good-looking, smooth-talking Dumisani joins them. However, his charm and desire to please slowly erode Vimbai's rancour and when he needs somewhere to live, Vimbai becomes his landlady. So, when Dumisani needs someone to accompany him to his brother's wedding to help smooth over a family upset, Vimbai obliges. Startled to find that this smart hairdresser is the scion of one of the wealthiest families in Harare, she is equally surprised by the warmth of their welcome; and it is their subsequent generosity which appears to foster the relationship between the two young people. The ambiguity of this deepening friendship - used or embraced by Dumisani and Vimbai with different futures in mind - collapses in unexpected brutality when secrets and jealousies are exposed. Written with delightful humour and a penetrating eye, The Hairdresser of Harare is a novel that you will find hard to put down.

Hairdresser's Experience in High Life Cover

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Hairdresser's Experience in High Life

Eliza Potter

Here is the first fully annotated edition of a landmark in early African American literature, the 1859 autobiography of Eliza Potter, a freeborn black woman who, as a hairdresser, was in a unique position to hear about, receive confidences from, and observe wealthy white women. Xiomara Santamarina provides an insightful introduction to this edition that includes newly discovered information about Potter, discusses the author's strong satirical voice and proud working-class status, and places the narrative in the context of 19th-century literature and history.

Haiti Cover

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Haiti

Hope for a Fragile State

“This book...avoids the political debates about Jean-Bertrand Aristide that dominate so many current writings about Haiti. Its focus is the society itself, the sources of difference, the origins of violence, and the possibility of change....The superb work done by the editors has established a high standard for future efforts.” (Terry Copp and John English from the Preface)

Haiti is a country in the midst of a political, economic, ecological, and social crisis. Violence has sabotaged attempts to establish the rule of law, and state infrastructure is notably absent in much of the country, leading to an overall climate of insecurity. Haiti: Hope for a Fragile State sheds light on the varied and complex roots of the current crisis, dispels misperceptions, and suggests that the situation in Haiti, despite evidence to the contrary, is not completely desperate. It brings together diverse perspectives on development, the military, history, NGOs, and politics and discusses the peace-building efforts of the past, suggesting ways to move forward to make Haiti a strong state.

Co-published with the Centre for International Governance Innovation

Haiti and the Americas Cover

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Haiti and the Americas

Carla Calarge

Haiti has long played an important role in global perception of the western hemisphere, but ideas about Haiti often appear paradoxical. Is it a land of tyranny and oppression or a beacon of freedom as site of the world's only successful slave revolution? A bastion of devilish practices or a devoutly religious island? Does its status as the second independent nation in the hemisphere give it special lessons to teach about postcolonialism, or is its main lesson one of failure?

Haiti and the Americas brings together an interdisciplinary group of essays to examine the influence of Haiti throughout the hemisphere, to contextualize the ways that Haiti has been represented over time, and to look at Haiti's own cultural expressions in order to think about alternative ways of imagining its culture and history.

Thinking about Haiti requires breaking through a thick layer of stereotypes. Haiti is often represented as the region's nadir of poverty, of political dysfunction, and of savagery. Contemporary media coverage fits very easily into the narrative of Haiti as a dependent nation, unable to govern or even fend for itself, a site of lawlessness that is in need of more powerful neighbors to take control. Essayists in Haiti and the Americas present a fuller picture developing approaches that can account for the complexity of Haitian history and culture.

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Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora in the Wider Caribbean

The Making of an Atlantic Slave Society, 1775–1807

Edited by Philippe Zacaïr

During the past ten years, political debates, legal disputes, and rising violence associated with the presence of Haitian migrants have flared up throughout the Caribbean basin in such places as Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. The contributors to this volume explore the common thread of prejudice against the Haitian diaspora as well as its potential role in the construction of national narratives from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.

These essays, written by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and Francophone studies scholars, examine how Haitians interact as an immigrant group with other parts of the Caribbean as well as how they are perceived and treated, particularly in terms of ethnicity and race, in their migration experience in the broader Caribbean.

By discussing the prevalence of anti-Haitianism throughout the region alongside the challenges Haitians face as immigrants, this volume completes the global view of the Haitian diaspora saga.

Haiti: Entre beaute et blessures Cover

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Haiti: Entre beaute et blessures

Clairvoyant who has lived in France for the past 24 years, expresses himself at times with a virulent violence that only an exile living in a perpetual nostalgia of his/her native land can understand. His words directed at the rulers of his native country is not always flattering, a euphemism not to say discourteous or accusatory. Poet with moral probity, he however slips into obsequiousness when expressing his anger that can easily be styled great immorality.

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The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination

Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints

Philip James Kaisary

The Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) reshaped the debates about slavery and freedom throughout the Atlantic world, accelerated the abolitionist movement, precipitated rebellions in neighboring territories, and intensified both repression and antislavery sentiment. The story of the birth of the world’s first independent black republic has since held an iconic fascination for a diverse array of writers, artists, and intellectuals throughout the Atlantic diaspora. Examining twentieth-century responses to the Haitian Revolution, Philip Kaisary offers a profound new reading of the representation of the Revolution by radicals and conservatives alike in primary texts that span English, French, and Spanish languages and that include poetry, drama, history, biography, fiction, and opera.

In a complementary focus on canonical works by Aimé Césaire, C. L. R. James, Edouard Glissant, and Alejo Carpentier in addition to the work of René Depestre, Langston Hughes, and Madison Smartt Bell, Kaisary argues that the Haitian Revolution generated an enduring cultural and ideological inheritance. He addresses critical understandings and fictional reinventions of the Revolution and thinks through how, and to what effect, authors of major diasporic texts have metamorphosed and appropriated this spectacular corner of black revolutionary history.

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Haiti's Influence on Antebellum America

Slumbering Volcano in the Caribbean

Alfred N. Hunt

The Haitian Revolution began in 1791 as a slave revolt on the French colonial island of Saint Domingue and ended thirteen years later with the founding of an independent black republic. Waves of French West Indians—slaves, white colonists, and free blacks—fled the upheaval and flooded southern U.S. ports—most notably New Orleans—bringing with them everything from French opera to voodoo. Alfred N. Hunt discusses the ways these immigrants affected southern agriculture, architecture, language, politics, medicine, religion, and the arts. He also considers how the events in Haiti influenced the American slavery-emancipation debate and spurred developments in black militancy and Pan-Africanism in the United States. By effecting the development of racial ideology in antebellum America, Hunt concludes, the Haitian Revolution was a major contributing factor to the attitudes that led to the Civil War.

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