Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
International Studies BA
Matthew Casey, Ph.D.
My project focuses on Haitian folklore in the early twentieth century in connection to the first United States’ occupation of Haiti. The United States’ Marine Corps occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. This nineteenth-year occupation brought violence and racial stereotypes towards the Haitian population, especially the peasantry. United States Americans coming to Haiti intensified these stereotypes. During this period, Haitian upper-and middle-class members heavily politized Haitian folklore and used it to defend Haiti against these stereotypes. Scholars have long discussed the anthropological works of ethno-anthropologist Jean Price-Mars as someone who tried to show the value of Haitian folklore, especially the Vodou religion and the country’s cultural connections to Africa. Price-Mars’ work became an important form of antioccupation resistance. My work engages with Jean Price-Mars and lesser-known scholars in order to raise more critical questions about how folklore becomes politized and why some works become famous and others do not.
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Muñoz Ramos, Cheyla G., "Cultural Folk, Political Lore: The Politics of Folklore during the United States Occupation of Haiti from 1915 to 1934" (2023). Honors Theses. 924.
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