Woman, Migrant, Other: The politics of motherhood and resistance in the Haitian Diaspora


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




Through an ethnographic study of motherhood, “Woman, Migrant, Other” traces the multiple displacements and states of being of pregnant Haitian migrant women in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2022, large numbers of Haitian migrants, including many pregnant women with young children, have emigrated to Boston—fleeing the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country. This project takes their encounters with doulas and Haitian community activists as its point of entry to examine how coalitional politics shape meanings and practices of motherhood at the margins of the state. It considers the interlocking forms of recognition and dis-recognition facing pregnant Haitian migrant women produced by legacies of U.S. imperialism and foreign intervention in Haiti, as well as contemporary exclusionary immigration policies and anti-Black racism. Drawing on interviews and participant observation with Haitian migrant mothers, doulas, and community activists, this project locates motherhood as an important site where novel forms of resistance emerge.