HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén’s time in Haiti, after being invited by the Haitian novelist and ethnologist Jacques Roumain in 1942.
Laëthier, Maud, 2022. “L’affinité des marges. Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén et le “moment cubain” dans l’Haïti des années 1940,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Between September and October 1942, the famous Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén stayed in Haiti, invited by his no less famous friend, Jacques Roumain. This article by French anthropologist Maud Laëthier proposes to analyze the political and scientific stakes and the effects of this visit. By exploring the Haitian press, we follow Guillén in his lectures, interviews and meetings with elite Haitian figures, whose reflections on national identity were nourished by the anthropological paradigm and by dissonant political ideas. The intellectual fraternity generated by Guillén, the Cuban champion of mixed-race identity, gave way to contrasting literary, scientific, and political commitments. Studying this fraternity sheds light on the collision/collusion of race, culture and society, which singled out the Haitian intellectual scene of the time. Laëthier carefully analyzes this crucial period of the building of Haitian anthropology in the 1940s.