April 16, 2019 at 4:30PM in Ustler Hall Atrium

In this talk, Dr. Nadève Ménard will examine Haiti’s complex linguistic landscape in order to dispel the myth that there is a vast population of monolingual Haitian Creole readers being ignored by Haitian authors who choose to write in French. Ménard will contend that the insistence on the authentic Haitian as one who is necessarily a monolingual Haitian Creole speaker is a dangerous form of essentialism which condemns Haitians to remain deprived of the linguistic rights they are afforded by Haitian history and the Haitian constitution which establishes two official languages. She will also caution against conflating socioeconomic classes and linguistic groups.

Nadève Ménard is professor of literature at the École Normale Supérieure of Université d’État d’Haïti. She is the editor of Écrits d’Haïti: perspectives sur la littérature haïtienne contemporaine (1986-2006) (Karthala, 2011) and the Journal of Haitian Studies’ special volume on Michel-Rolph Trouillot (2013). She is also the author of Lyonel Trouillot, Les Enfants des héros: étude critique (Champion, 2016) and one of the editors of the forthcoming Haiti Reader (Duke). Translation projects include Gina Ulysse’s Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle (with E. Trouillot, Wesleyan 2015) and the web exhibit Haiti: An Island Luminous (with E. Trouillot, 2016) hosted at the Digital Library of the Caribbean. She is currently working on an English translation of Le Fondateur devant l’histoire by St. Victor Jean-Baptiste and a manuscript tentatively titled Enduring Myths: Haitian Literature and Foreign Scholars under contract with Liverpool University Press.

This event is organized by the Mellon Intersections Group on Global Blackness and Latinx Identity with support from the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, George A. Smathers Libraries, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research, Center for Latin American Studies, and Club Creole.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact: [email protected] or Prof. Manoucheka Celeste ([email protected]).


  • Occurred Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm