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Sun Spirals: Early Haitian Poetry, Solar Cosmologies, & Abolition Ecology


Monique Allewaert

This talk explores Haiti's relation to a long history of climate colonialism via an engagement with several early Haitian poems, including Hérard Dumesle's -"À travers les sillons par la foudre tracés" from Voyage dans le Nord d'Haïti, ou, Révélation des lieux et des monuments historiques (Les Cayes: Imprimerie du Gouvernement, 1824). By working with, and against, the climatological imaginary of Western poetic forms, this early Haitian literary archive offers glimmers of Kongo, Yoruba, and Amerindian solar and celestial regimes. Allewaert argues that these Afro-diasporic and Amerindian solar imaginaries generate conceptions of nature that undercut the models of time and geography that sustain plantation colonialism. The talk concludes with a brief consideration of how this Haitian solar poetics intersects with Aimé Césaire's defiant solar imaginary.


Global, Humanities