Situating Haiti: on some early nineteenth-century representations of Toussaint Louverture | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 10, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1368-2679
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9142


Until recent years and with several notable exceptions, there appears to have been relatively little interest in Haiti among scholars in the field of francophone studies. The article takes this apparent absence as its starting point, and explores the possible ramifications of a renewed attention to Haitian history and culture for studies of francophone postcoloniality. Central to the discussion is a series of French and British representations of the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, dating from around the time of their subject's death in 1803, that have received only rare critical attention. The article suggests that any study of a postcolonial Toussaint, evident in the work of authors such as Aim Csaire, Bernard Dadi, Ren Depestre, Edouard Glissant and Jean Mtellus, should take these earlier representations into account in order to elaborate a more complex account of francophone history and culture. The conclusion develops this reflection on the association of the colonial and postcolonial by suggesting the ways in which a renewed awareness of the implications of the Haitian Revolution might impact on postcolonial analyses of France itself.


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