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Gina Athena Ulysse
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Gina Athena Ulysse is an anthropologist, a poet, performance artist and multi-media artist. She is an associate professor of anthropology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Born in Haiti, she has lived in the northeast of United States since her family migrated eons ago.

Her new book, Why Haiti Needs New Narratives: A Post-Quake Chronicle is a tri-lingual collection of post-quake writing from 2010-2012 is due out May 2015. She is also the author of Downtown Ladies (Chicago 2008), an ethnography of Jamaican Informal Commercial Importers. She is the guest editor of the forthcoming issue of E-misférica, the journal of the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, on Caribbean Rasanblaj.

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Entries by Gina Athena Ulysse

Ode to Haiti's Neo-Comedians

(1) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 7:45 PM

When the late Graham Greene's The Comedians was published, the book's description read, "Set in Haiti, amid an atmosphere of brutal force and terror-ridden love, three desperate people work out their strange destinies". The bestseller became a major motion picture starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It was...

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Pedagogies of Belonging

(2) Comments | Posted December 6, 2015 | 3:35 PM

Lighted barge on the Mississippi River. "You Belong Here" by Tavares Strachan

There is a conversation Black faculty often have with Black students that we rarely mention in public, let alone in mixed company. The tone of this exchange differs to...

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Paul Stoller's Public Anthropology Turn

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Evidence that anthropology is taking a more public turn abounded at the annual conference of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Denver last month. WesChester University's Paul Stoller, a consistent presence on Huffington Post since 2010, became the first blogger to be awarded the Anthropology of Media Award...

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Why Krugman's Vocabulary Needs to Be Refreshed

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 3:26 PM

Paul Krugman's "Voodoo Economics, The Next Generation" does not make any more sense today than it did back in 1980 when presidential candidate G. W. Bush used this term to criticize Ronald Reagan's claim that cutting taxes on the rich would actually - "magically" lead to greater economic...

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Encuentro: Get Ready to Manifest

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 12:58 PM

Just before the International Jazz Festival, another global gathering takes place in Montréal as a flock of academics, artists, activists, students and enthusiasts of all kinds will come from all over to participate in the IX Encuentro.

Université Concordia will serve as the hub for this...

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Theaster's Way

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 10:45 AM

Theaster Gates has been dubbed "the real-estate artist," "the opportunity artist," "an anthropologist, urbanist, activist -- the 21st-century artist," "the poster boy for socially engaged art," #40 in Art Review's "2013 Power 100, A ranked list of the contemporary art world's most powerful figures," and even "the Mick Jagger of...

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Faye V. Harrison and Why Anthropology Still Matters

(3) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 4:30 PM

As conversations about the future of the university and the value of a liberal education continue to proliferate in a hostile market economy deepening the intellectual division of labor, the "engaged university" model has emerged as a potential solution to making academia relevant.

For University of...

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Remembering Marvette Pérez, Curator

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 12:27 PM

When Marvette Pérez Garcia -- Smithsonian curator -- passed on August 19 at the age of 52, many of her colleagues were unsettled and heart-broken by her sudden departure. Pérez left a body of work that will not only be treasured for its significance, but also a...

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Arlene Torres or Why Anthropology Still Matters (Part II)

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 6:12 PM

As politicians continue to debate immigration policy, efforts to better grasp the particularities of life in diverse communities have become even more relevant.

To achieve this end, the National Parks Service is turning to anthropology as they seek to fulfill their local mission "to preserve and interpret...

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Immeasurable Inspiration: On Robert Pruitt's Women

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 6:31 PM

Robert Pruitt's Women, currently on exhibition at the Studio Museum of Harlem, is a series of 20 portraits of contemporary black women embodying such graceful restraint that they become curative in the present moment.

Drawn on brown butcher paper with conté-crayons, every single one...

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Paul Stoller or Why Anthropology Still Matters

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 12:44 PM

The Nobel may be Sweden's most famous prize, but the Retzius medal is also quite an honor.

Every three years on April 24th, the anniversary of the Swedish-Finnish geographic explorer Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld's return with his ship Vega to Stockholm, the Swedish Society for Anthropology...

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TEDxUofM: Untapped_ Future Game Changers

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 11:49 AM

I wanted to tell my story. I was feeling timid about possibilities of connecting with the audience given how I needed to tell it. I had been invited to share a story from my life in -- 13 minutes-- with over 1,300 people in University of Michigan's Power...

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Encuentro: A Space for Artistic Collaboration and Experimentation

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 3:37 PM

As the Oscar-nominated film No continues to stir controversy in Chile, Chilean performance artists collaborated at the Encuentro in São Paulo.

Gonzalo Rabanal (Chile), A Being Said to be a Name. Photo Credit: Julio Pantoja

We came from all over to partake in the...

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On Learning Entitlement or the Seminar That Changed Me

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 6:51 PM

I attended a seminar to get the skills to "write to change the world." Instead, it changed me.


It was one day. Seven hours to be exact. I had signed up for this interactive seminar with a focus on expertise, thought leadership and impact. The target audience was mostly...

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How Vodoun Became 'Voodoo' and Vodou

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 2:31 PM

The Spirits and The Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (UChicago Press) is a brilliant book, a nuanced re-mapping of how Vodoun became "voodoo" and Vodou. In the process of her meticulous delineation, Kate Ramsey offers in the world of geopolitics critical insights into the inevitable plight of...

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Klekolo's Caffeine Community

(3) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 3:41 PM

"With enough caffeine anything is possible" reads the sign that greets customers entering Klekolo World Coffee. The small café with maximum occupancy of 35 is tucked underneath the parking structure on Court Street in Middletown, Conn.

Klekolo got its start 18 years ago when Hollie Rose, a.k.a....

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Defending Vodou in Haiti

(22) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 1:45 PM

While perception of Haiti as synonymous with Vodou reigns in public imagination, especially abroad, within the republic the religion is under attack again.

Vodouists and supporters from all over Haiti and its diaspora took to the streets of Port-au-Prince yesterday (Oct. 17) to protest against a governmental...

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Haiti's Vodou: A World of Wonder and Surrender

(5) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 5:10 PM

January 10 is international Vudon Day in Benin (formerly Dahomey). Celebrations will take place everywhere honoring the religion.

I can't help reflect on this most African part of our heritage in the New World especially as it is continually maligned by those whose knowledge is...

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Constant: Haiti's Fiercest Flag Bearer

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 2:44 PM

Myrlande Constant is undoubtedly Haiti's fiercest flag bearer. A (drapo Vodou) Vodou flag maker who has been refining her craft in the last two decades, Constant ironically exists in near obscurity as a Haitian artist while nothing about her work, accomplishments and personality are meek.


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Teaching Black Feminism and Paying it Forward

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2010 | 5:55 PM

For as long as I have been teaching (almost 13 years), I have used Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider in one of my courses. Nesha Haniff, the University of Michigan Center for African-American Studies professor who first introduced me to Lorde, had also brought

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