Projects and Courses

A Phenomenology of Gede: Thinking with the Dead in Haiti

Dr. Nathan Dize (Vanderbilt University)

This course proposes a study of Haitian literature through the lens of Gede as authors transgress temporal, spatial, and linguistic boundaries to communicate with and through the dead.

Course Goals

Three objectives for this course:

  • to familiarize students with a broad spectrum of Haitian writing about and through the memories of the dead;
  • to facilitate student exposure to Haitian modes of thinking and religious praxis;
  • and to develop skills in identifying, interpreting, and constructing historical narratives that foreground the voices of the dead through written and presentational assignments

Outcomes & Deliverables

The course emphasizes student research in digital collections of Caribbean primary and secondary sources to facilitate close reading of textual and visual materials.


Course syllabus

Schedule with descriptions of assignments and links to digital resources (Shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.)

Vodou Archive

The course made heavy use of this collection, which includes over 300 photos, texts, video, and scholarly works.

Institute Reflection

Dr. Dize’s perspective on the institute experience