Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Kevin A. Yelvington, D.Phil.

Committee Member

Angela Stuesse, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Peter Funke, Ph.D


activist anthropology, Haiti, Janil Lwijis/Jean Anil Louis-Juste, political economy, oral history


Among increased calls for "new narratives" of Haiti, this thesis seeks to honor Haitian traditions of intellectualism and resistance, centering on the life and legacy of martyred professor Janil Lwijis in post-earthquake student social movements. Based on oral histories with student activists at the State University of Haiti (UEH), this work explores student protest in Haiti through the voices, often at odds, of those en lutte; it explores how Janil is invoked and remembered, and argues that oral history can contribute to activist research and pose a challenge to dominant narratives. A legacy that is contested, differential claims to Janil's memory are infused with politics and history. This work seeks to understand contested claims to his memory through Marxist political economy, arguing that an interpretation of Haiti’s political economy is crucial to understanding the emergence of critical consciousness and social movements, political demands, and the symbols and meanings that characterize them.