Viktwa sou Lesklavaj / Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


The exhibit “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond” [Viktwa sou Lesklavaj: Ayiti e menm pi lwen pase sa], which honors the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, is still on view at the United Nations Headquarters Visitor Center in New York City until September 14, 2014. The exhibit is organized by the Memorial of Nantes, France; the architect Rodney Leon, designer of the Permanent Memorial: The Ark of Return, and the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). [See previous posts ‘Ark of Return’: Telling the stories of 15 million slaves in a UN permanent memorial and UN marks Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Slave Trade.]

Description: On March 25 every year since 2007, the UN marks the International Day to honour the more than 15 million men, women, and children who suffered and died during the more than 400-year transatlantic slave trade, the largest forced migration in…

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On Being an Intellectual!

What is an intellectual? What is the function of the intellectual in society and culture?

Here’s what I think about “on being an intellectual”!

An intellectual is both a cultural critic and a problem solver. He is also a visionary leader who critically analyzes the life condition of his people and that of others, and that which holds them captive. In the same vein, he assesses culture, ideologies, movements, and the world of ideas, and unearths the roots of oppression and injustice in society. He is burdened about injustice, inequality, and the presence of evil and oppression in his community and elsewhere in the world. One can say that an intellectual is also a cosmopolitan. The work of an intellectual should appeal not only to the mind but also to the heart. We might infer that the ultimate goal of an intellectual is to work collaboratively with others to create a just and democratic society toward the total emancipation of his people. The thrust of his work is to create promising future possibilities for the common good. In summary, the intellectual does the following things:

1) diagnose the problem;
2) critique the present condition;
3) foster change and transformation through deep thinking;
4) propose new solutions and come up with new plans, ideas, methods, strategies to alter the present Haitian reality.
5) create new future possibilities and foster a new vision of life and humanity.

Above all, the intellectual is a servant to his people and to humanity in general.

“Haiti: Then and Now”: Call for Contributors


“Haiti: Then and Now”

“Haiti: Then and Now” is an online venue and platform composing of writers, cultural critics, intellectuals, artists, poets, historians, philosophers, etc. The goal of “Haiti: Then and Now” is to engage and reflect critically  on the human condition–past and present– in Haiti and the Haitian experience in the Haitian Diaspora, by providing insightful  analysis and commentaries.

The task of our Contributors
Our contributors will write critical, interdisciplinary, and reflexive online blog posts, reflections, commentaries, and opinions; hence, they will comment on major or pressing issues affecting the everyday life of the Haitian people.

 Our Philosophy

The five-fold objectives that underscores the philosophy of “Haiti: Then and Now” are as follows:

1) diagnose the problem;
2) critique the present condition;
3) foster social change through deep thinking;
4) propose new solutions and come up with new plans, ideas, methods, strategies to alter the present Haitian reality.
5) create new future possibilities and foster a new vision of life and humanity.

If you are interested, send us a brief bio and an amazing picture of yourself so we can post on our website. Drop us an email

Blog posts are welcome in English, French, Creole, Spanish, and any other human language.

Our website:

* One does not have to be an Haitian to be a contributor or join the team; however, we do ask that you are familiar with or at least interested in the Haitian narrative and the Haitian experience, both in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora.


Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!

Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!.

Important Note to the Vodou Anthology Contributors!

Dear Contributors,

We are pleased to inform you that your chapter abstract for the anthology entitled Vodou: I Remember: The Idea of Vodou in Haitian Thought, Literature, Music, and Art edited by Drs. Celucien L. Joseph, Asselin Charles, Shallum Pierre, and Nixon S. Cleophat has been accepted. Please be advised of the following instructions:


1. Vodou Spelling

The spelling “Voodoo” or “Voodooism” has been changed to “Vodou” by the Library of Congress. Vodou is the most accurate spelling designating the religion practiced by most Haitians.  Please be consistent in the usage of the term.

Note below:


PSD was petitioned by a group of scholars and practitioners of vodou to change the spelling of the heading Voodooism. They successfully argued that vodou is the more accurate spelling, and that the spelling “voodoo” has become pejorative. The base heading was revised to Vodou on this list, and all other uses of the word “voodoo” in references and scope notes have also been revised.”



2. Manuscripts and Style Guide

Manuscripts must be computer generated in Microsoft Word and submitted electronically via e-mail to or All manuscripts must include an abstract, be edited carefully before submission, and double-spaced. Manuscripts must conform to guidelines published in The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition).

Articles are limited to a maximum of 30 pages of text including references. Personal narratives or essays are limited to 10 pages.

Please use endnote and provide a Bibliography for all references used in the text.


3. Double-Blind Peer Review

All book chapter submissions deemed appropriate for the anthology (Vodou: I Remember) are sent out for review under the double-blind system: the identity of participants is not disclosed to referees who serve as editors of the anthology.  All manuscripts are reviewed by all members of the editorial team and only those submissions that meet the editorial standards of the anthology and fit within the philosophy and objectives of the project will be accepted.


4. Important Dates to Remember

October 24, 2014                            Chapter Submission Deadline

January 23, 2015                            Chapter Feedback to Authors

March 20, 2015                              Final Edited Submission Due


5. Website

We have created a web page for the Vodou anthology. Please do visit us for updates and further information.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me: Dr. Joseph ( or Dr. Cleophat (

We’re looking forward to collaborating with you and receiving your first draft by Friday, October 24, 2014.



Celucien L. Joseph, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida


Schallum Pierre, Ph.D.
Research- Associate
Chercheur affilié à la Chaire d’enseignement et de recherche La philosophie dans le monde actuel de l’Université Laval
Laval University/ Université Laval

Asselin Charles, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Literature
Director of Francophone Studies
Kwara State University
Ilorin, Nigeria

Nixon S. Cleophat, Ph.D.
Columbia University
New York, New York

Thank you!

Big shout out to our contributors to the Vodou: I Remember Anthology! (The projected title is “The Idea of Vodou in Haitian Thought, Literature, Music, and Art”) We have received some 29 book chapter proposals from internationally-known scholars and theorists around the world including Germany, France, Haiti, USA, Canada, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, etc., attempting to analyze the Vodou religion from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. The editors (Drs. Nixon Shaba-lom, Schallum E-Pierre, Asselin Charles, and Celucien L. Joseph) want to thank everyone who has submitted the 300 word abstract for consideration.

We look forward to collaborating with you and receiving your first Draft by October 24, 2014. This is going to be an amazing project!

Please visit our website for updates and more information

Lisa Allen-Agostini asks: What Makes a Writer “Caribbean”?

Originally posted on Repeating Islands:


From the Commonwealth Writers’ website . . . an interesting debate. Here’s an excerpt, with the link to the full text below. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Of course it’s valid to have more than one home, and to write about a home you inhabit more in spirit than in truth. But when you write on that imagined home, what are you writing—where are you writing about?

Every so often on the Internet I’ll spot some smirk, some snide comment questioning the currency that the title “Caribbean writer” represents in the publishing world. The intimation is that it adds an exoticism, a potency, a cachet that plain old “UK writer” or “US writer” lacks. I may sound cynical to say it out loud, and I don’t necessarily co-sign the sentiment, but it’s a real question that is being floated by other people.


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