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Modernity Disavowed

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A study of the ways that knowledge of the slave revolt in Haiti was denied/repressed/disavowed within the network of slave-owning states and plantation societies of the New World, and the effects and meaning of this disavowal

Table of Contents

Preface ix Introduction: Tuncations of Modernity 1 Part I. Cuba 1. The Deadly Hermenuetics of the Trial of Jose Antonio Aponte 41 2. Civilization and Barbarism: Cuban Wall Painting 57 3. Beyon National Culture, the Abject: The Case of Placido 77 4. Cuban Antislavery Narratives and the Origins of Literary Discourse 107 Part II. Santo Domingo / The Dominican Republic 5. Memory, Trauma, History 131 6. Guilt and Betrayal in Santo Domingo 155 7. What Do the Haitians Want? 169 8. Fictions of Literary History 180 Part III. Saint Domingue / Haiti 9. Literature and the Theater of Revolution 201 10. "General Liberty, or The Planters in Paris" 214 11. Foundational Fictions: Postrevolutionary Constitutions I 227 12. Life in the Kingdom of the North 245 13. Liberty and Reason of State: Postrevolutionary Constitutions II 260 Conclusion 273 Appendix A. Imperial Constitution of Haiti 275 Appendix B. Chronology 283 Notes 287 Index 355

About the Author

Sibylle Fischer is Associate Professor of Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University.


"Modernity Disavowed is a tour de force. This magnificent work is the best book on its subject and at the forefront of a new wave of scholarship that is already transforming both the study of the Caribbean and the study of modernity. I fully expect it to become a classic in its field."--Lewis R. Gordon, author of Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought "Modernity Disavowed is a superior work. It is not only important but also needed."--Alicia Rios, coeditor of The Latin American Cultural Studies Reader

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