Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Cultural memory, History, History of the book
- Caribbean, South America, United Kingdom
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
My PhD thesis analyses representations of Haiti in late-nineteenth-century Britain. Throughout Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain expanded its empire, and imperial cultures became more entrenched. Haiti secured a fragile independence from France in 1804, my thesis interrogates the ways in which Haiti was portrayed within imperial ideologies. The ‘Black Republic’, as it was so termed, potentially reminded people in Britain of the fragility of the imperial project, and of the metropole’s control over the colonies. Yet, this is rarely apparent in representations of Haiti. Instead, it was emphasised as an example of a society regressing away from civilisation, of the failure of people of African descent in government, and as a case of extreme isolationism. I am interested in the relationships between the ‘silences’ in representations of Haiti and imperial practices. Whereas Haitian sovereignty was very rarely recognised, notions of state failure often justified acts of violent imperialism. My latest research, that I am undertaking at the Institute, involves examining the relationship between multiple decolonisation movements in the Caribbean. Haiti provided a radical example of anti-colonial action, and independence, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I consider the extent to which Haiti was thought about in decolonisation movements across the Caribbean. As part of this project, I will interview Caribbean people based in London of their experiences of decolonisation and examine the ways in which the effects of colonialism continue to impact in our contemporary everyday.
Spoken Written French - Good Spanish Good Intermediate
- Publication Details
Date Details 30-Jun-2016 The Morant Bay Rebellion, British Colonial Policy, and Travelling Ideas about Haiti
Journal of Caribbean History, 50, 1 (2016), pp. 70–89.
The Travelling Travel Narrative: The Communication Circuit of Spenser St John’s Hayti or the Black Republic
Book History, 20 (2017).