Smith, Matthew J.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Two Hundred Year Old Mountains: Issues and Themes in the Historiography of the Modern Francophone Caribbean
De Barros, Juanito; Diptee, Audra; Trotman, David
Beyond Fragmentation: Perspectives on Caribbean History
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Examines the main trends in history-writing on the Francophone Caribbean, since Haitian independence. Author discusses themes, methodologies, and availability of sources, comparing between Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana. He notes a difference between the historiography of Haiti on the one hand, and the other French Caribbean territories, related to Haiti's early independence, and a much larger output of writing on Haiti's history both in English and French, including often by non-historians. There are, however, methodological challenges in relation to problems of Haitian archives, often inaccessible or uncatalogued, making studies often depend on private collections. Author further highlights more specialized studies on Haiti, and points at historical blind spots, such as between 1843 and 1879, while the US marine occupation got relatively most attention. Then, he pays attention to historiography in and on Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana, pointing at better, extensive archival resources. Yet he also notes omissions, as there was quite some historical work on the early 19th c. and slavery in the colonies, but less on the postemancipation period up to World War II, after which studies, often on economic and political themes, increased again. These included more critical approaches to assimilation, and since the 1970s and 1980s also on Négritude, cultural identity, language, and Antillean culture as site of resistance. Author points out that there is a need for more work comparing the Francophone Caribbean with the rest of the Caribbean.....