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The Haiti ExceptionAnthropology and the Predicaments of Narrative$
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Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Jhon Picard Byron, Kaiama L. Glover, Mark Schuller, Mark Schuller, and Jhon Picard Byron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382998

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382998.001.0001

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date: 21 September 2017

Editors’ Introduction

Editors’ Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Editors’ Introduction
Source:
The Haiti Exception
Author(s):
Kaiama L. Glover, Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781382998.003.0001

This book explores the ways in which Haiti, its history and contemporary realities, have been constructed and circulated outside of the country not only by the international media and political pundits, but also by development and humanitarian aid workers, missionaries and even academics engaged in the field of Haitian studies. Drawing on the discipline of anthropology, and more specifically cultural anthropology, the book investigates the persistent and constraining narrative of Haiti's exceptional nature. This book shows that Haiti and anthropology have been — and continues to be — very much mutually constitutive. The chapters argue that, for all its exceptionalism, the island nation has also served as a cautionary tale, a model for humanitarian aid and development projects, and a point of origin for general theorizing of the Third World. By analyzing the long-standing reciprocal relationship between Haiti and anthropology, the book attempts to make sense of the dialectic of exemplarity and alterity as well as to identify specific moments of knowledge production in and on Haiti.

Keywords:   development, humanitarian aid, cultural anthropology, Haiti, exceptionalism, Third World, exemplarity, alterity, anthropology, Haitian studies

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