Claire Antone Payton

I'm a PhD student in History Department at Duke University, where I study Haiti through the lenses of urbanization and oral history.


My intellectual and professional path has been shaped by my long standing interest in Haiti
and the Francophone world. You can view my complete CV here.

Education experience

2012 - now

Ph.D. Duke University


I am currently pursuing my PhD at Duke University, where I study with Laurent Dubois. I am researching the history of the city of Port-au-Prince across the 20th century, with an eye towards questions of citizenship and housing.

I am developing concentrations in the Caribbean, Modern Latin America, and Urban Theory and Ethnography. My prelims committee includes Laurent Dubois, Jolie Olcott, and Charlie Piot.

As a member of the Haiti Lab, I have been involved as a researcher and web designer with a variety of projects including the Vodou Archive and the upcoming publication of the Haiti Reader.

I am also the graduate Digital History Laison for the History Department and a member of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge.


M.A. New York University

History and French Studies

Doctoral candidate in the Departments of History and French Studies

Passed Qualifying Exams with Honors Spring 2011

Received Master of the Arts Degree in 2012  


B.A. Reed College


BA in History with a focus on French and the Francophone world

Thesis: "The Politics of Exclusion: Race and Citizenship in Revolutionary France and Saint-Domingue"

Received commendations Fall 2007

work experience


Haiti Lab


An active member of the Haiti Lab in the 2012-2013 academic year, I am now in charge of organizing events and outreach and managing the day to day operations of the Haiti Lab's website.


Duke History Department

Digital History Liason

I currently serve as the Digital History Liaison for the Duke History Department. My responsibilities include preparing graduate students with skills workshops and organizing campus visits from important figures in the world of digital humanities.


Conference: Humanitarianism in Haiti

April 11-12


I conceptualized and planned an international conference with theorists and practicioners of international humanitarian aid and development in a two day conference at Duke University. The conference was also lived streamed, and the proceedings can be viewed here.

→ View website


Margaret Sanger Papers Project

Research Assistant

While working for the Margaret Sanger Papers Projects, I conducted directed research on their archival collection. I also served as a social media editor, building up their social media presence through the management of Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as by writing for their blog.


Conference: Roots and Branches

January 23


I conceptualized and organized a day-long national graduate student conference on Haitian Studies at New York University, which took place on January 23, 2012.


Public Speaking and Conferences

February 2012

Oral History and the Digital Humanities as Post-Disaster Response

Invited Speaker at the Duke Haiti Lab. Read more.

Feburary 2011

Civic Life, Imagination, and the Impact of NGOs on the IDP Camps of Port-au-Prince

Presented at Natural Events to Social Disaster in the Circum-Caribbean at University of Texas.

March 2011

The Haiti Memory Project

Presented at the International Studies Symposium at York University.

April 2011

The Haiti Memory Project and the Activist Historian

University of Kentucky

I was invited by Dr. Jeremy Popkin to present on my oral history work in Haiti.


Below are samples of a few of my recent projects and publications, particularly ones that relate to Haitian history, digital humanities, and oral history.


Oral History in the Digital Age: The Haiti Memory Project

In 2011 I wrote a case study of the Haiti Memory Project Read more...


Vodou and Protestantism, Faith and Survival: The Contest Over the Spiritual Meaning of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti

This article was published in Fall 2013, in Volume 40 Issue 2 Read more...


Haiti Memory Project

The Haiti Memory Project is an online archive of oral testimony about Read more...


The Vodou Archive

The Vodou Archive is an ongoing research collaboration between Duke and the Read more...


The Digital History Working Group

I was one of the founding members of the Digital History Working Read more...


I'd love to hear from you! Get in touch.

You can also follow me on Twitter at @clairepayton and @haitimemory.

  • 226 Carr Building (East Campus) Box 90719 Durham, NC 27708-0719
  • cap50 (at)