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Jesús Ruiz, "'I Burn My Nation': Black Royalists and Monarchical Thought in the Haitian Revolution"

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Friday, October 16, 2020
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9:30 am - 11:00 am
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Jesús Ruiz
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"What might upholding the throne of the very king whose colony had enslaved them in the first place reveal about the ideological dispositions of former slaves who decided to fight not for a nascent French Republic, but for a dying monarchy? Seemingly old-fashioned appeals to and understandings of monarchical authority and ideas of kingship are at the very core of my current book project. In this talk, I propose to reorient Haitian revolutionary debates from French-, British-, and U.S.-centered interpretations to encompass a broader transnational framework that includes the Spanish Empire and West and Central Africa. It is through this comparative or wide-angle lens that I attempt to examine the complex and varied phenomenon of royalism within the Haitian Revolution. Throughout the documentary record, I find Haiti's famous black rebels looking backward in time and sideways across the Spanish border, even as they looked forward to an uncertain future."

Jesús G. Ruiz specializes in the history of the Haitian Revolution, the Caribbean, Black Atlantic, and Afro-Latin America. He is currently an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow at the Franklin Humanities Institute, History, and Art, Art History & Visual Studies.

Contact: Sarah Rogers