As a Caribbean historian with expertise in Haiti, I use geography, material culture, and urban planning to analyze modern Caribbean and Latin American history. I defended my Ph.D. at Duke University in March 2018. Currently, I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African and African American Studies at the University of Virginia.
I’m working on developing my manuscript, “And We Will Be Devoured: Construction, Destruction, and Dictatorship in Haiti”, which charts a new political, material, and environmental history of urbanization in the modern Caribbean. It reinterprets Port-au-Prince’s twentieth-century material growth as a series of political, economic, cultural and discursive conflicts over the built environment. These conflicts, I argue, were central to the consolidation and perpetuation of authoritarian rule in Haiti.
I’ve also used oral history to document the lived experience of urban transformation, recording more than 100 interviews with survivors of the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince. One of the most intimate collections of documentation on the disaster and its aftermath, the Haiti Memory Project has been cited in numerous accounts of the earthquake and has been used widely as a pedagogical resource in classrooms. I have written about the Haiti Memory Project in the Oral History Review and in a book chapter in the recently published volume Remembrance: Loss, Hope, Recovery after the Earthquake in Haiti
I recently spoke about my research at the Woodson Institute’s “Meet the Fellows” event. Click on the video below to watch a 5-minute presentation introducing my research.