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The Public Sphere of the Haitian (Post-)Revolution: Conditioned Communication in Louis Dubroca and Baron de Vastey

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In the last fifteen years, scholars from diverse fields, including early American studies, French studies, Latin American Studies, and post-colonial studies, have turned their attention to the complex history and literature of the Haitian revolution. What was once a “silenced” event in world history (Trouillot) has now become a center of attention for discussions of slavery, revolution, racism, and humanitarianism. In this essay, I combine close readings of proslavery and abolitionist pamphlets with an attention to geopolitical questions of diplomacy and international relations. I compare Louis Dubroca’s Napoleonic propaganda to the early nineteenth century radical anti-colonialism of the Haitian politician and intellectual Baron de Vastey. I argue that both authors, despite their enormous political differences, try to maneuver a rapidly shifting world of transatlantic interests and I show that part of their communicative ambition is to create a public sphere within which their ideas might be brought to life.
TidsskriftColonial Latin American Review
Sider (fra-til)445-464
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • The Haitian Revolution, emancipation, racism, public opinion, The public sphere, Baron de Vastey, Louis Dubroca, The nineteenth-century Atlantic, International Relations

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