Carolyn Fick: The Making of Haiti


Chancellor Day Hall Stephen Scott Seminar Room (OCDH 16), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The LLDRL speaker series and McGill Seminar on Slavery and the Law present an Author-meets-Readers session with Professor Carolyn Fick.

Please note that this conference takes place inside Professor Adelle Blackett's Slavery and the Law course (LAWG 517).

The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below: In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the wealthiest and most flourishing of the Caribbean slave colonies, its economy based on the forced labor of more than half a million black slaves raided from their African homelands.  The revolt of this underclass in 1791—the only successful slave rebellion in history—gained the slaves their freedom and set in motion the colony's struggle for independence as the black republic of Haiti. In this pioneering study, Carolyn E. Fick argues that the repressed and uneducated slaves were the principal architects both of their own freedom and of the successful movement toward national independence. 

About the author

Carolyn Fick is an associate professor of History at Concordia University, where she teaches seminars in Atlantic History and the eighteenth-century Atlantic revolutions, as well as courses in Haitian history from the colonial and revolutionary periods to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is the author of The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below (1990, Univ. Tennessee Press), which has now been translated into French: Haïti: Naissance d’une Nation.

Her other publications include an essay on Toussaint Louverture’s foreign policy for The Haitian Revolution and the Early U.S. and another more comprehensive essay on the trajectory of Saint Domingue from slave colony to nation state in New Countries in the Americas. She is a participating research scholar in the inter-university French Atlantic History Group/Groupe d’histoire de l’Atlantique français, based in Montreal at McGill University.

Professor Fick's visit is sponsored by the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory.