Saturday, January 17, 2015
Northwestern University, The Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and
The Humanities Without Walls Consortium Present:
“Beyond Coasts: Haiti in the Midwest”
April 24-25, 2015
A Global Midwest Sponsored Symposium
Dr. Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
Professor Emeritus of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Call for Papers, Performances, and Presentations
“Diaspora” often brings to mind several images related to place and home—the places people have left and then traveled to in order to create new homes and communities. In the case of the U.S. Haitian diaspora, traditional discussions of these communities tend to focus on “major” cities such as Miami, New York, Boston, and Newark. While Chicago was purportedly first settled by Haitian Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the Midwest is often excluded from popular and scholarly discussions of the Haitian diaspora. What role has the Mid-Western Haitian Diaspora played in shaping both the history of the Mid-West and the political, social, and regional structure of the U.S. Haitian Diaspora? How does emphasizing the Mid-Western history and present day organizing of Haitian activist, artists, community members and scholars of Haiti change how we view and understand the “global” in the “Mid-West” and vice-versa?
“Beyond Coasts: Haiti in the Mid-West,” to be held April 24-25, 2015 at Northwestern University addresses these questions through a symposium that unites scholars, activists, and artists within the Haitian Diaspora of the Mid-West. This symposium will archive and chronicle the role the Midwestern Haitian Diaspora has played in shaping both the history of the Midwest and the political, social, and regional structure of the U.S. Haitian Diaspora.
We welcome performances, papers, and presentations from scholars, independent researchers, activists, and/or artists that address the following broad topics on the Haitian Midwest Diaspora:
· Haitian migration and settlement history in the Mid-West
· Political and social organizing in the Mid-West
· Transnational mobilizing and Haiti-based disaster relief
· Visual, performance, and cultural art practice in the Mid-West
· Local and transnational organizing in the Mid-West
· Second and third-generation identity retention by Midwest Haitian-Americans
· African American and Haitian-American relations
· Haitian Kreyol language retention and education
· Religion, spirituality, and Vodou in the Mid-West
· Women’s rights, organizing, and history in the Midwest Diaspora
· Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered organizing and history in the Midwest
This conference is organizing by The Beyond Coast Steering Committee a collective of Northwestern Graduate Students and Chicago-based activists and artists. While funds are limited we will provide lodgings and several meals for all selected presenters. Accepted presenters will have the option of sharing their papers on an online platform following the symposium proceedings.
The Beyond Coast Steering Committee:
Kantara Souffrant, PhD Candidate, Performance Studies
Marie Casimir, Consultant, The Consulate General of Haiti in Chicago
Mohwanah Fetus, PhD Candidate, English
Mario LaMothe, PhD Candidate, Performance Studies
Haydee Souffrant, Community member and artist
Applicants should submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by January 30, 2015. Accepted presenters will be notified by February 9, 2015.
 The top five states with the highest concentration of Haitians diasporans are Florida, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Georgia. For more information see the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies, “Profile of the Population of Haitian Origin in the United States,” http://www.cemla-remesas.org, September 2013.