Haiti and the United States

National Stereotypes and the Literary Imagination

  • J. Michael Dash

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. J. Michael Dash
    Pages 135-162
  3. J. Michael Dash
    Pages 163-168
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 169-182

About this book


Imaginative literature, argues Michael Dash, does not merely reflect, but actively influences historical events. He demonstrates this by a close examination of the relations between Haiti and the United States through the imaginative literature of both countries. The West's mythification of Haiti is a strategy used to justify either ostracism or domination, a process traced here from the nineteenth-century until it emerges with a voyeuristic fierceness in the 1960s. In an effort to resist these stereotypes, Haitian literature becomes a subversive manoeuvre permitting Haitians to 'rewrite' themselves. The Unites States 'invented' Haiti as a land of savagery and mystery, a source of evil and shame. Weaving together text and historical context, Dash discusses the durability of these images, which continue to shape official policy and popular attitudes today.


argue English literature event Haiti Imagination literature policy USA weaving

Authors and affiliations

  • J. Michael Dash
    • 1
  1. 1.University of the West IndiesJamaica

Bibliographic information