About the Award: Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects, of up to two years, proposed by individuals or teams.
Title: The Haitian Revolution and The Making of Freedom in the Postcolonial Atlantic
Research: The declaration of Haitian independence by Jean-Jacques Dessalines on January 1, 1804, was the culminating moment of the Haitian Revolution that had erupted some twelve years earlier in the French colony of Saint Domingue.
Achieving the overthrow of colonialism, slavery, and racial inequality, the Haitian Revolution shocked the Western world and its rising consumer culture, reshaped debates over slavery, accelerated the abolitionist movement, precipitated rebellions in neighbouring slaveholding territories, and intensified repression and antislavery sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic.
This project will consider critical, contextual, and interdisciplinary readings of Haiti’s early constitutions in order to provide a nuanced response to the key question that would challenge and haunt political leaders through the 19th century Atlantic world: How do you get from slavery to freedom?