Haitian Art: A Digital Crossroads Workshop

Grinnell College and Waterloo Center for the Arts
Thursday March 5
th to Saturday March 8th, 2020

During the first weekend of March 2020, specialists on Haitian art gathered in Iowa for a three-day workshop considering digital resources and Haitian art collections. We invited ten guests from across the United States and Haiti to join our HADC team, along with several Grinnell faculty members, to consider the field of Haitian art history. Critical dialogues during the workshop informed the direction of our nascent digital humanities project, as we considered and debated best practices, historiography, accessibility, sustainability, and inequity. We specifically addressed disparities in the field, as made evident in the scattered and inconsistent nature of archival sources and artists estates, as well as the dispersion of artworks across private and public collections. Considering our experience as researchers, archivists and curators, we asked how to build a more robust, rigorous Haitian art history, and how digital resources and interdisciplinary methodologies may dually expand knowledge and fill gaps within the field? Our discussions amongst objects of art allowed us to envision new futurities for Haitian art, and to consider new innovative practices for promoting the arts from the world’s first Black republic.

HADC Workshop Schedule

Thursday, March 5th, 2020 – Grinnell, IA
4pm – Peterson Lecture in Art History and keynote by Jerry Philogene, “Death, Freedom, Epistemologies: The Radical Labor of Haitian Aesthetic” [HSSC S3325]

5:30pm – Reception for the installation Visualizing Abolition & Freedom (https://vaf.grinnell.edu) [HSSC 1st floor]

6pm – Dinner [Relish]

Friday, March 6th, 2020 – Grinnell, IA

8:00am – Breakfast available [HSSC N1116]

8:45am – Welcoming remarks, Fredo Rivera (Grinnell College) [HSSC N1116]

9:00am – Panel: Digital archives and Haiti [HSSC N1116]

Panelists: Laura Wagner (The Radio Haiti Archive, Duke University), Hadassah St. Hubert and M. Stephanie Chancy (Digital Library of the Caribbean, Florida International University), and Elizabeth Pierre-Louis (Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète/FOKAL, Port-au-Prince)

Moderator: Mark Christel (Librarian of the College, Grinnell)

10:30am – Break

11am – Panel: Haitian art collections [HSSC N1116]

Panelists: Edouard Duval-Carrié (Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Miami), Axelle Liautaud (Centre d’Art, Port-au-Prince), and Chawne Paige and Elizabeth Andrews (Waterloo Center for the Arts)
Moderator: Peter Haffner (Centre College)

12:30pm – Lunch [HSSC N1116]

1pm – Panel: Studying Haiti in Grinnell [HSSC N1116]

Panelists include Vadricka Etienne (Sociology), Gwenola Caradec (French), Tess Kulstad (Anthropology), Doug Hess (Political Science)
Moderator: Sarah Purcell (History)

2pm – Visit to the Grinnell College Museum of Art

Featuring the exhibitions Damon Davis and
Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu

3pm – Panel: State of the Field – Haitian Art History [Grinnell College Museum of Art]
Panelists: Fredo Rivera (Grinnell College), Erica James (University of Miami), Katherine Smith (UCLA)

Moderator:  Jerry Philogene (Dickinson College)

4:30pm – Shuttle leaves to Waterloo

6pm – Check into hotel – Courtyard Marriott Waterloo

6:30pm – Dinner [Galleria del Paco]

Saturday, March 7th, 2020 – Waterloo, IA

9:45am – Welcoming remarks (Kent Shankle)

10am – Tour of Haitian art collection on display with Chawne Paige

Noon – Lunch catered in museum

1pm – Exploration of the WCA vaults

3:30pm – Group discussion

6pm – Dinner and workshop closing [Blue Iguana]

Sunday, March 8th, 2020 – Waterloo, IA

9am – Advisory board and team member meeting