Revisiting Haiti in the Light / Works of Aimé Césaire

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The South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) - November 5-7, 2010, Atlanta GA
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Revisiting Haiti in the Light / Works of Aimé Césaire

Haiti is the lost cradle and the pariah of the New World. Her disregarded epithets "La Perle des Antilles", the land of the Caribs / Tainos / Arawaks, the land of Emperors or the "Seminal Brawn of the Americas" are fast becoming the morphology of an obsolete lexicon for the nowadays writers, journalists, and reporters of the "Sensational Media."

The creation of this tiny denuded country was brought about by an uncanny virtuoso and noble-mindedness that was not expected from a group of displaced African slaves. And yet, their edified valiance in the birth of Black Liberty, — "Haiti where Negritude rose for the first time and stated that it believed in its humanity," says Aimé Césaire in his Notebook of a Return to the Native Land — or the glimmer of their pioneer torch of Black Freedom seems to be muffled in the land of "The Sensational Media". For, TV reporters, journalists and writers seem so reticent to go beyond the established "idée reçue" and so willing to emit in unison and ad nauseam: "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western World."

Hence the primary focus of this special session is to highlight and bring attention to these fundamental questions that have been unjustly overlooked: who were these early pioneer civil rights leaders in the Americas? What were their contributions and why are these pioneers fading today in the collective consciousness? Why the sublime diligence and the prowess of Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Pétion, Boisrond -Tonnerre, Capois-La-Mort, Jean-Pierre Boyer, Henri Christophe and Faustin Soulouque (etc.) do not get the recognition they so deserve?

Paper proposals might include investigation of Aimé Césaire's writings as meaningful approaches vis-à-vis recognizing Haiti's contributions to what Césaire celebrates, understands and coins as NEGRITUDE: an indigenous Haitian seed that the Haitian Founding Fathers dared to plant in the History book in January 1, 1804.

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By June 15, 2010, please send abstracts of 300 words to Max Adrien, Hamline University, at
The South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) -
82nd International Annual Convention; Atlanta, Georgia – November 5-7, 2010 ;