C.L.R. James’s Black Jacobins 80 Years On: The Haitian Revolution and Its Reverberations

AHA Session 244
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Roosevelt Room 1 (Marriott Wardman Park, Exhibition Level)
Melanie J. Newton, University of Toronto
The Audience

Session Abstract

Published in 1938, C.L.R. James Black Jacobins continues to resonate with scholars and activists. One of the first books to place the Haitian Revolution in the context of the broader Atlantic World, Black Jacobins also gave slaves an agency and voice that inspired other writers to explore history “from the bottom up.” The book has had a powerful influence across a number of fields; it continues to be used in university classes and appears prominently on general reading lists. Equally as important it had a profound political impact on independence struggles and decolonization movements in the Caribbean and beyond.

This panel both reflects on the lasting impact of James’ writing, and considers important new directions in the historiography of the Haitian Revolution and the country’s history. Panelists include a mixture of established figures in the field, junior scholars, and Haitian academics.

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