October 27, 2021

SECWAC Hosts Presentation on ‘Haiti and Democracy’ Tonight; Registration for Zoom Option Still Open

Professor Laurent Dubois will speak Tuesday on ‘Haiti and Democracy.’

OLD LYME — On Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m., Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council hosts Professor Laurent Dubois, Co-Director for Academic Affairs of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia, speaking on,“Haiti & Democracy.

This event is presented in collaboration with the local organization Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH) and is a hybrid online/in-person presentation.

The SECWAC Annual Meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and Professor Dubois will be introduced at 6 p.m.

With comfort and safety in mind, this program and many following will be offered as a hybrid event – both in-person and available by Zoom.

Limited in-person attendance at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is offered but registration for it is now closed. Masks will be required during the in-person event, and there will be no pre-meeting hors d’oeuvres.

Zoom registration is still open. If you plan to attend via Zoom, click here to register as a virtual attendee.

The topic of “Haiti & Democracy” is based on his 2013 book Haiti: The Aftershocks of History and current events in Haiti. Dubois’ book will be available from Bank Square Books at the meeting or is sold online (free shipping).

How can an understanding of the broader history of Haiti help us understand the current political impasse in the country?

In this talk, Dubois will offer some guideposts for understanding the long-term history of the country, focusing on the complex political and cultural dynamics that have shaped the present. He will discuss how and why the relationship between Haiti and the U.S. has developed as it has, the impact that relationship has had on the way North Americans often see Haiti, and how to move beyond certain kinds of limited and damaging interpretations towards a fuller, more capacious understanding.

The goal of the presentation, and the discussion to follow, will be to map out productive ways of engaging with Haiti’s history and culture, and thinking collectively about the future of the U.S.-Haiti relationship.


Laurent Dubois’ compelling book, Haiti the Aftershocks of History, traces the history of Haiti from pre-slavery days through the revolution, and the following eras up to this century. He is a specialist in the history and culture of France and the Caribbean, focusing mainly on Haiti.

He has received  The Frederick Douglas prize as well as Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for his writing.

At Duke University for the past decade, he was professor of history and also co-chair for the Franklin Humanities Center’s Haiti Laboratory for three years.

He is now at the University of Virginia as a co-director of the Democracy Institute. Learn more about his recent appointment as co-director here.


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