Dominican, Haitian, island historical futures: a discussion of emerging, and upcoming research

Convenors: María del Pilar Blanco (Modern Languages), David Howard (Geography), Michael Joseph (History), William Ghosh (English).

This event is part of the TORCH Caribbean Studies Network

This seminar invites four leading researchers to discuss their current research and inspirations, and to offer their thoughts on future directions for Haitian, Dominican, and island/society-wide historical studies.

Ayanna Legros, Duke University
Ayanna Legros is an interdisciplinary historian of 20th century Caribbean and Latin America. She is completing at Ph.D. in the Department of History at Duke University. Her dissertation project: “Echoes in Exile: Haitian Radio Activism in New York City (1969-2002)” spans the fields of sound studies, immigration, Black diaspora studies, and histories of technology. Her work uses oral histories, radio show transcripts, cassette tapes, and songs to craft a nuanced history of Haitians peoples’ usage of radio to inform and empower new political visions for the nation. She is the recipient of fellowships from Davis Foundation 100 Projects for Peace (Batey Lechería, Dominican Republic), National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals, Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship through Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (Harlem, New York) and teaching residences at Dominican Academy, Loyola School, Success Academy, and City University of New York. 

Beth Manley, Xavier University
Dr. Manley teaches courses in Latin American, Caribbean, and World history, as well as thematic courses covering areas of interest such as gender, politics, human rights, and revolution. Her research interests focus primarily on issues of gender and participation in politics, nationalism and revolution, and political change in the modern Caribbean. In 2017 she published The Paradox of Paternalism: Women and Authoritarianism in the Dominican Republic (University Press of Florida) and has completed research articles for Caribbean Studies, the Journal of Women’s History, Small Axe, and The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. She is a contributing editor for the Library of Congress’ Handbook of Latin American Studies and the co-chair of the Haiti-Dominican Republic section of the Latin American Studies Association. She is currently working on a new book project on the role of women in the development of modern Caribbean tourism tentatively titled Imagining the Tropics: Women, Tourism, and Caribbean Island Fantasy, 1890-1980.

Raj Chetty, St John’s University
Raj Chetty teaches world literatures in English and postcolonial literature and theory, with a particular focus on Caribbean literature across English-, Spanish-, and French-language regions.He is working on two projects currently, one examining the theatrical legacies of C. L. R. James’s landmark work, The Black Jacobins, specifically its stage version, and the other exploring Dominican literary engagements with blackness and Africanness in the period following the end of Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship.

Edward Paulino, John Jay College, City University of New York
Professor Paulino teaches a wide-ranging number of writing intensive interdisciplinary courses. His research interests include: race; genocide; borders; nation-building; Latin America and the Caribbean; the African Diaspora; and New York State history. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation, and the New York State Archives.



David Howard, University of Oxford
Dr David Howard is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. He is Director of the Sustainable Urban Development Programme at the University of Oxford, which promotes lifelong learning for those with professional and personal interests in urban development. David is also Co-Director of the Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation at Kellogg College, which hosts public debates and promotes research on key urban issues affecting society today, with the aim to provoke discussion and constructive action, linking current best practice in related areas of research. He is a member of the Management Committee for the Latin American Centre at the University of Oxford, a CNRS Research Associate at Université Bordeaux, and Chair of the David Nicholls Memorial Trust. 


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