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9348: Questions for the list (especially academics) (fwd)
From: Pierre Jean <email@example.com>
Casey Wolf asked a while back to name the ONE book
about Haiti that you would read if you were not too
familiar with the place. All the replies received
referred to books written by non-Haitians (Heinl,
Wilentz, etc.) Of the 15-book list submitted by one
person, more than half were written by non-Haitians.
A few years ago, I had the honor of dining with Chinua
Achebe in Boston. During the course of our
conversation, he complained bitterly that, when it
came to discussing Nigerian issues, non-Nigerians
preferred to hear the opinions of foreign scholars
over those of Nigerian scholars. (And as you may know,
there is no lack of books written by Nigerians on
When considering this non-scientific "poll" by Wolf, I
was reminded of Achebe's complaint because it seems
that the same is true for Haiti and probably most
1. When reading about everyday news on Haiti, what
sources of information do you trust or not trust? Why?
2. When reading books on specific Haitian issues,
would you say that you instinctively trust the
non-Haitian authors more than the Haitian ones? If
3. Do you believe that there is simply not enough
intellectual output from Haitians? Or that Haitian
authors are too biased?
4. Do you think that non-Haitian authors are on the
whole more likely to be impartial (non-biased) when
writing about Haiti? Why?
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