Troubling Island: The Imagining and Imaging of Haiti by African-American Artists


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art




While reams of text have been devoted to the problematic relationship between Haiti and the United States, sparse art historical research addresses the complexities of American visualizations of Haiti. This dissertation addresses the lack of in-depth analysis of the images that have accompanied and propelled the histories, travelogues, and creative responses to Haiti. By tracing Euro-centric representations of Haiti and the responses to these images by African-American artists, from the end of the US military occupation in the 1930s to the return of the Marines in the early 1990s, we can see how representations of Haiti articulate Americans' shifting cultural anxieties about race, class, religion, patriotism and national identity.