Current Institutional Affiliation
Instructor at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, English

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
French, Louisiana State University / Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
Channeled Spirits and Ritual Memory: The Romantic History and Literature of Haiti and Louisiana, 1836-1860

This project involves travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to study the nineteenth-century book, newspaper, and · manuscript collections of several libraries and archives. Research will be centered on a group of Haitian writers that emerged in 1836 and was heavily influenced by the aesthetic and political theories of French Romanticism. The poems, essays, and histories written by this group of intellectuals will be compared to similar literary and historical texts written by French-speaking Louisianans. This project will examine the way that these new-world writers, using borrowed ideas and imitated styles, wrote their own unique history and literature and constructed their own Creole identity. It will also explore how the rituals of French esoteric thought and institutions--such as mesmerism, spiritualism, and Freemasonry--might have influenced these writers and poets as they created a Creole history and literature.