Recovering Histories of the Haitian Revolution

By Yue Qiu and Henry Stevens

Haiti, known prior to 1804 as St. Domingue, was once the wealthiest colony in the French empire. African slaves worked the vast sugar plantations to enrich the powerful French Monarchy and Empire. On August 22nd, 1791, slaves on the northern plain of Haiti revolted against their masters, burned the plantations, and thrust themselves into the turmoil of the French Revolution. Out of the slave revolt came an alliance between the self-liberated Black people of Haiti and the revolutionary government of France.[1] The slaves, who were ultimately led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, were betrayed when Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in France and attempted to reinstate slavery in the Caribbean colonies. Despite imprisoning and killing L’Ouverture, while sending 50,000 soldiers to Haiti under his brother-in-law Leclerc, Bonaparte found that freed people would fight to the death to defend their liberty. Leclerc died in the fighting, and his successor Rochambeau retreated from a newly-freed Haiti, which Black leader Dessalines formally declared an independent nation in 1804.

Thirty years after Haitian independence, an American movement against slavery sprang into life. As with France, slave labor enriched the economy of the United States. In 1831, the slave Nat Turner led a revolt against slavery in Virginia, and in the same year, William Lloyd Garrison published the first edition of The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper, which openly declared American abolitionists’ resolution: “I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.”[2]  From the 1830’s to the end of the Civil War, the Underground Railroad helped Southern slaves escape to the Northern free states where many became radical abolitionists. However, the slaveholding Southern states showed the institution’s resilience by creating slave territories out of the land seized in the Mexican-American war and extending their legal authority in the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, which required all citizens of America to assist federal authorities in capturing runaway slaves The height of the tensions between slave-owners and abolitionists came in 1859 when abolitionist John Brown led an unsuccessful raid on Harper’s Ferry in an attempt to ignite a mass slave revolution, signaling an embrace of violence. Continue reading “Recovering Histories of the Haitian Revolution”

Report on Humanities Research Center Student Orientation & Information Session

By Anisha Joshi

Class of 2022

On September 1st, DKU’s freshmen were introduced to the DKU Humanities Research Center. While DKU does not have a graduate program in the arts and humanities yet, the HRC gives DKU students the unique opportunity work on intensive research with professor, as well as carry out their own projects. Continue reading “Report on Humanities Research Center Student Orientation & Information Session”

Points Center for Contemporary Art Series Talk | Art Nomad: International Artist Residency

The Media & Arts Speaker series at Duke Kunshan University is a bi-weekly event that invites leading practitioners in media and arts to speak about their work and practice and engage with our DKU community.

The second short series features Points Center for Contemporary Art (PCCA). Situated in the greater Kunshan region, PCCA is dedicated to building a cultural ecosystem that embraces the local community within Kunshan city. Through this series, we hope to provide students an introduction to the art center, its guiding philosophy, its programs and its artists.

The first hybrid lecture (in-person and zoom) of this series is scheduled on Friday September 11th, 2020 at 6pm China Central time and features Points Director and Curator Nicole Du. This series is organized and hosted by Prof. Vivian Xu and Prof. Benjamin Bacon, and supported by the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Humanities Research Center at Duke Kunshan University. Continue reading “Points Center for Contemporary Art Series Talk | Art Nomad: International Artist Residency”

Second Annual DKU Student Film Festival – 2020

Friday September 18th at 7:00pm

Duke Kunshan University, Innovation Building Lecture Hall

Curated by Kaley Clements

The second annual DKU Student Film Festival is sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and is held in conjunction with the Humanities Research Center’s fall conference: Hum/Animal.

The student film festival is not held in the spirit of competition, but rather as an event to gather student filmmakers from Mainland China and Hong Kong to broaden their understanding of what students at similar institutions in the region are working on. The intent is to foster relationships that  lead to future collaborations, networking in the film industry, etc. It is also a chance for faculty from these institutions to come together to discuss ways to make a stronger filmmaking culture in the Southern Jiangsu/Greater Shanghai Region. Continue reading “Second Annual DKU Student Film Festival – 2020”

Hum/Animal: Humanities Fall Conference Program

Hum/Animal is the theme of the Humanities Research Center’s fall conference and student film festival, which takes place from September 18-20 on the campus of Duke Kunshan University, and via Zoom.

The conference comprises five elements:

  • Keynote speeches by leading experts on the relationship between humans and other animals, from a range of perspectives, including bioart, philosophy, sociology and cultural studies
  • Parallel sessions featuring the research of new and returning DKU faculty in the humanities and social sciences
  • Parallel sessions featuring the research of undergraduate students from DKU and other universities, chosen via highly selective peer review process
  • Parallel sessions featuring the work of DKU’s Humanities Research Labs
  • A student film festival curated by Kaley Clements

Continue reading “Hum/Animal: Humanities Fall Conference Program”

Partnership Announcement: The Shanghai Literary Review & Duke Kunshan University Humanities Research Center

The Shanghai Literary Review and Duke Kunshan Humanities Research Center are pleased to announce our recent partnership.

Starting with TSLR Issue Seven, our organizations will work together in the planning and production of the magazine and to provide unique educational opportunities for students at DKU. Continue reading “Partnership Announcement: The Shanghai Literary Review & Duke Kunshan University Humanities Research Center”

Third Space Lab Recruits Research Participants for a Longitudinal Study – Transformative Learning and Third Space Personae Development in Global Education

Dear First-Year Students,

We are looking for incoming first-year students about to study at DKU to participate in a research project conducted by Emmanuelle S. Chiocca, Ph.D., Zhang Xin, Ph.D., co-directors of the Third Space Lab and faculty members in the Language and Culture Center.

Our research project revolves around students’ change as a result of living and studying in a translingual and intercultural environment. This research is being conducted in higher education institutions both in China and in the United States. You were selected as a possible participant because you are about to study at DKU. Continue reading “Third Space Lab Recruits Research Participants for a Longitudinal Study – Transformative Learning and Third Space Personae Development in Global Education”