Haitian Studies Association

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Board and Staff

The Haitian Studies Association Board and Staff 

2015 Board of Directors

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith
President
pbs@uwm.edu

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of Africology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He obtained a PhD in international studies from The American University, and taught in that field, and later in African-American studies and Women's studies. His scholarship presently is in the areas of African and neo-African religious thought and social philosophy, with an emphasis on national and cultural identities. He has authored, edited and co-edited five books on these subjects, and a large number of articles. Some of his work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French. He is the recipient of the Medaille Jean Price-Mars, Universite d'Etat d'Haiti, and of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship from the Haitian Studies Association. He is a oungan asogwe, a priest of Vodou. 

LeGrace Benson
Vice-President
legrace.benson@gmail.com

LeGrace Benson holds an interdisciplinary PhD in visual perception, history of art and philosophy of education from Cornell University; an interdisciplinary MFA in art, philosophy, and education theory from the University of Georgia; and an AB in art and English literature from Meredith College. She also did studies in theology, comparative religion, and history of Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School of Philadelphia; and special courses in film production and film history in various institutions and museums. She is professor emerita from that institution. Currently she is director of the Arts of Haiti Research Project, associate editor of the Journal of Haitian Studies, and a member of the Board of the Haitian Studies Association. Most recent publication: Arts and Religions of Haiti; How the Sun Illuminates Under Cover of Darkness.


Carolle Charles
Vice-President
Carolle.Charles@baruch.cuny.edu
Dr. Carolle Charles is an associate professor of sociology at Baruch College. As a scholar, her research and work concentrate on processes and agencies both in Haitian society and within the Haitian immigrant communities of North America. Dr. Charles's present scholarly work focuses on three interconnected areas of research: Labor Migration and Transnational Pattern of Migrants' Identities; the Dynamic of Race, Culture, and History; and Gender and Empowerment. Her work is contributing to the ongoing debate on feminist studies that attempts to redefine the very meaning of feminism. She is also a past president of the Caribbean Studies Association.

Regine Jackson
Secretary
rjackson@agnesscott.edu 

Regine Jackson is Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, GA. She has a BA from Brown University (1993) and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan (2001). Her research focuses on contemporary Haitian migrants, as well as how practices of diaspora, experiences of racialization, and intra-group relations vary locally among black immigrant/ethnic groups. Major works include an edited volume, Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora (Routledge, 2011) and a monograph called Boston Haitians: Navigating Race, Place, and Belonging in a ​Majority-Minority ​ City (manuscript under review). She has received grants and awards from the American Sociological Association, the Social Science Research Council, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her current research focuses on Haitian émigrés in postcolonial Africa and on African and Caribbean immigrants in the (new) South.

Manoucheka Celeste
Treasurer
manoucheka.celeste@unlv.edu

Manoucheka Celeste is currently an assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She studies media representations of blackness, immigration, gender, and class, specifically Haiti, but also the broader Caribbean and Latin American region. Dr. Celeste’s most recent publication, “Framing Haitians and Cubans in The New York Times: Enduring Imprints of Political History,” appears in the Journal of Haitian Studies (2013). Her chapter, “Black Women and US Pop Culture in the Postidentity era: The Case of Beyoncé Knowles” appears in Transatlantic Feminisms: Women and Gender Studies in Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Ampofo, Rodriguez, and Tsikata. She holds a PhD in communication and a graduate certificate in gender, women, and sexuality studies from the University of Washington. Celeste is also co-founder of the Women of Color Collective at UW.


Nadève Ménard
Board Member
nmdelmas@yahoo.com

Nadève Ménard is professor of literature at the École Normale Supérieure of Université d’État d’Haïti. Her research centers on the representation of political conflicts in literature. She has contributed to several journals and collective book projects. Her first edited book, Écrits d’Haïti: perspectives sur la littérature haïtienne contemporaine (1986-2006) was published in 2011. With Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, Nadève Ménard launched Tande, a trilingual blog on Haitian culture and literature. They also co-edit the book review section of the Journal of Haitian Studies. Nadève Ménard is currently one of five co-editors working on The Haiti Reader, to be published by Duke University Press.

Pierre Minn
Board Member
pierreminn@yahoo.ca
 

Nathalie Pierre
Emerging Scholars Representative
natoupierre@gmail.com

Nathalie Pierre is a doctoral candidate in the department of History at New York University. Her dissertation "The Vessel of Independence....Must Save Itself: Haitian Statecraft, 1803-1820" is a political history of the construction of a Black state in an era characterized by racial slavery and turbulent revolution. Her main interest is Africana community formation at the local and state level. Her first publication is "Ti Dife Boule sou Istwa Ayiti as Haitian Civic Education."
 

Dieulermesson Petit Frere 
Board Member
djason_2015@yahoo.fr

 

Yves Voltaire
Board Member
yvoltaire@gmail.com

Yves VOLTAIRE is the Rector of “Universite Publique des Nippes” (UPNip) and the former Rector of “Universite Publique du Sud aux Cayes" (UPSAC). He made his doctoral studies in sociology of conflicts  at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). He also holds a master's degree in psycho-education (Montreal), biblical studies (Jerusalem), and international relations (Paris), and received advanced training in higher education leadership (Harvard). He is a board member of the “Comite Mixte Haiti-Mexique," the Catholic schools Network of the diocese of Les Nippes and the founding pastor of the parish community of Paillant. His researches and publications include the reform of higher education in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Republic of Haiti relations, promotion of creole language and human rights education.


Lois Wilcken
Board Member
makandal@earthlink.net

Lois Wilcken, a native New Yorker, has had the pleasure of researching traditional music and dance in Haiti and her diaspora. As executive director of La Troupe Makandal, Dr. Wilcken develops education and performance programs for the public. White Cliffs Media Company published her book, The Drums of Vodou, and one may visit French and English versions of her Vodou Music in Haiti exhibit at www.lameca.org.  She is currently annotating a collection from her field recordings for publication on the web-based Ethnographic Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive based at Indiana University, and is documenting the life and legacy of the late master drummer Frisner Augustin for a web archive and a biography.

Advisory Committee

      François Pierre-Louis, 2014
Immediate Past-President
Fpierrelou@aol.com

François Pierre-Louis, PhD, is Associate Professor of Political Science at Queens College, CUNY.  His research interests include immigration, transnationalism and Haitian politics. He has worked as a community organizer in Haiti and the U.S., and served in the private cabinet of President Aristide in 1991 and as an advisor to Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis in 2007-2008. He is the author of Haitians in New York City: Transnationalism and Hometown Associations. His articles have appeared in U.S. Catholics, Wadabagei, the Journal of Haitian Studies, Education and Urban Society, and the Journal of Black Studies. He is currently coordinating the Chancellor initiative to help rebuild higher education in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. 


Claudine Michel, 2013
Past-President
michel@blackstudies.ucsb.edu

Claudine Michel served for many years as Director of the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently Professor of Black Studies and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs. She received a BA in education from the École Normale Supérieure; studied at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti; and earned a PhD in international education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research has appeared in many scholarly venues and she is the author and co-editor of a number of volumes on education, Black studies, and Haitian Vodou. Her current work re-conceptualizes alternative modes of knowledge production and models of pedagogical interventions grounded in both education and religion. She is a former president of the Haitian Studies Association and the long-time editor of the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti, The Journal of Haitian Studies, published by the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research for the Haitian Studies Association. Dr. Michel is founding member of KOSANBA, A Scholarly Association for the Studies of Haitian Vodou and Culture and a founding editor of Kalfou, A Journal of Comparative Ethnic and Relational Studies, both housed at the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research. After the 2010 earthquake, she served as consultant for Direct Relief International on its Haiti community projects and is a member of the Haiti Soleil Board of Directors. Recent awards include an excellence and service award from the Haitian Studies Association and the prestigious Jean-Price Mars Medal from the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti.

Charlene Desir, 2012
Past-President
cdesir@nova.edu 

Dr. Charlene Désir received her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a research professor at the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Désir’s academic interest is in the social and psychological adjustment of immigrant students in public schools, specifically school’s social curriculum, social trauma occurring in schools, and how social issues affect learning. Dr. Désir has presented various papers and presentations on the topic of immigrant students and their adjustment to the U.S. She has also published on the topic of immigrant identity and becoming a reflective researcher. In addition, she co-founded T.E.N. global, an empowerment network for Haitian women and children, was the 2012 president of the Haitian Studies Association, and was also appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Children’s Services Council in Broward County, FL. Dr. Désir has worked as a school psychologist, K-12 school counselor, school administrator in Massachusetts district schools and as an academic advisor and professor.


Matthew J. Smith, 2011
Past-President
matthewjordansmith@gmail.com 

Dr. Matthew J. Smith is a senior lecturer in history. His main area of research is Haitian politics and society after the U.S. occupation (1915-1934) and Haitian regional migration in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. He has published several articles and book chapters on various aspects of Haitian history and politics, and the book, Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 (UNC Press, 2009). He has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Florida; an Andrew Mellon Visiting Professorship at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University; and a Dubois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Smith teaches undergraduate courses on Haitian history and U.S. history. He is a Board member of the Haitian Studies Association and is the Director the Department’s Social History Project.


Guerda Nicolas,2008-2010
Past-President
nguerda@miami.edu 

 


Guitèle Nicoleau, 2008
Past- President
nicolegu@hotmail.com 

 


Florence Bellande-Robertson, 2007
Past-President
fbellande14@hotmail.com

Florence Bellande-Robertson holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a retired university professor of languages and literature. She is a co-founder of Multicultural Women’s Presence, a publishing company dedicated to fostering women’s voices, and also co-founded Foundation Hope for Haiti, an American fundraising organization that supports essential humanitarian programs in the areas of education, health, entrepreneurship, social communications, community development, and democracy building.  She is the author of Perhaps Tomorrow (1983) and The Marassa Concept in Lilas Desquiron’s Reflexions of Loko Miwa (1999) and the co-editor of Brassage (2006), an anthology of poetry by Haitian women.


Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo, 2005-2006
Past-President
mariejose.nzengoutayo@uwimona.edu.jm

Marie-José Nzengou-Tayo (PhD.) is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of the West Indies, Mona and the former Chair of the Department of Modern Languages & Literatures (2005-2011). She is specialized in the Teaching of French as a Foreign Language and a researcher in the literature and culture of the French-speaking Caribbean. In 2004 she received the French order of the Palmes académiques (Chevalier). She is a past President of the Haitian Studies Association (2005-2006), and the recipient of the 2013 Principal’s Award for Research for her article “The Haitian Short-Story: An Overview” (Journal of Caribbean Literatures, Vol. 6:3). 


Kathleen M. Balutansky, 2002-2004
Past-President
kbalutansky@smcvt.edu

 


Carole M. Berotte Joseph,1999-2001
Past-President

 


Leslie Desmangles, 1994-1998
Past-President
leslie.desmangles@trincoll.edu

Professor Desmangles graduated from Eastern University in 1964 with a BA in music, from Palmer Seminary in Philadelphia with an M. Div. in Theology, and from Temple University in 1975 with a PhD in anthropology of religion, specializing in Caribbean and African Studies. He has taught at Ohio Wesleyan University from 1969-1976, at De Paul University from 1976-1978, and at Trinity since 1978.

A dedicated teacher, Professor Desmangles has two primary pedagogical goals: to encourage his students to understand the importance of religious beliefs in human society; and to teach them to appreciate the drama and pageantry of rituals in the religious traditions of peoples across the world. He has published widely, most notably The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti, a Choice outstanding academic book for 1994. Moreover, he was also the associate editor for The Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions, also a Choice outstanding reference book for 2003. Professor Desmangles was honored at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association in 2007 for his scholarly contributions to the study of Caribbean religions.


Alix Cantave, 1989-1998
Past- Executive Director
alix.cantave@wkkf.org

 

Staff


Marc Prou
Executive Director
​Marc.Prou@umb.edu

Marc Prou, associate professor and former chair of the Africana Studies Department, is currently the director of the Haitian Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His teaching and research address New World slaves societies, Caribbean social and cultural history, Caribbean literatures, Urban Education and Kreyòl linguistics. Through his interdisciplinary pedagogy, he has developed and led various study abroad programs to Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. The author of numerous books, and peer-reviewed articles, essay reviews, and book chapters, including Introduction to Africana Studies: Multidisciplinary Perspectives of the African Experience (2013); “Haiti’s Condemnation: History and Culture at the Crossroads,” in Latin American Research Review (2005); “Attempts at Reforms: Mending the Tapestry of Haiti’s Education System, 1979-2004” in Journal of Haitian Studies (2009). Professor Marc Prou is a prominent Haitianist scholar activist and a keen public intellectual. He has cast a wide net of influence across generations with a variety of publications, combined with frequent public appearances in both academic and non academic circles, advancing Haitian history, language and cultural studies. Professor Prou is a co-founder of the Haitian Studies Association (HSA), he continues to relentlessly push the envelope of Haitian Studies in the academic canon.


Claudine Michel
Editor, Journal of Haitian Studies
michel@blackstudies.ucsb.edu 

Claudine Michel served for many years as Director of the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is currently professor of Black studies and assistant vice-chancellor for student affairs. She received a BA in education from the École Normale Supérieure; studied at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti; and earned a PhD in International Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research has appeared in many scholarly venues and she is the author and co-editor of a number of volumes on education, Black studies, and Haitian Vodou. Her current work re-conceptualizes alternative modes of knowledge production and models of pedagogical interventions grounded in both education and religion. She is a former president of the Haitian Studies Association and the long-time editor of the only peer-reviewed journal on Haiti, The Journal of Haitian Studies, published by the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research for the Haitian Studies Association. Dr. Michel is founding member of KOSANBA, A Scholarly Association for the Studies of Haitian Vodou and Culture and a founding editor of Kalfou, A Journal of Comparative Ethnic and Relational Studies, both housed at the UCSB Center for Black Studies Research. After the 2010 earthquake, she served as consultant for Direct Relief International on its Haiti community projects and is a member of the Haiti Soleil Board of Directors. Recent awards include an excellence and service award from the Haitian Studies Association and the prestigious Jean-Price Mars Medal from the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti.