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Translating Haitian History, Translating Human Experiences

Dr. Chantalle Verna, Associate Professor, History

This research and writing project will lead to a translation and scholarly edition of Le Fondateur Devant l’Histoire (Eben-Ezer Press, 1954). Le Fondateur is a celebratory biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haiti’s first head of state written by the late Haitian historian and diplomat, St. Victor Jean-Baptiste. As lead co-editor of this edition, I along with my collaborators (literary scholar and translator, Nadève Ménard and nineteenth-century Haitian historian Julia Gaffield), consider the time ripe for a volume about Dessalines. Dessalines embodied radical Black self-determination and the condemnation of anti-Black violence, two topics of tremendous importance to popular and academic audiences.

Undergraduate Research Fellow Responsibilities

Under the direction of Dr. Verna, the research fellow will contribute to the preparation of a book proposal for the University of Virginia Press; investigate funding opportunities to support the development and completion of this project, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Scholarly Edition and Translation award; and work with oral history, library and archival resources that will form the basis of the prologue, annotations, and supplementary materials for the volume.

Apply for an Undergraduate Research Fellowship   [Qualtrics Link]