Julia Gaffield

The Conversation
Julia Gaffield is an Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University and author of "Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World" (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). She is currently writing a biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.Her research focuses on the ways that Haitian leaders were able—despite uniform international diplomatic rejection—to build a viable economic, ideological, and legal foundation for their independence and sovereignty at a time when the colonial plantation society and economy were central to global power structures. She is currently working on two book projects: first, The Abandoned Faithful: Sovereignty, Diplomacy, and Religious Jurisdiction after the Haitian Revolution, analyzes the role of domestic and international Catholicism within Haiti’s pursuit of comprehensive state formation in the decades following the Declaration of Independence in 1804; second, Jean-Jacques Dessalines: Freedom or Death, is a biography of Haiti’s first head of state.

A man on a horse wears a black and red colonial-era costume. Behind him is smoke from a fire.

Haiti protests summon spirit of the Haitian Revolution to condemn a president tainted by scandal

Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the black Haitian revolutionary who defeated the French to free Haiti from colonial rule in 1804, has emerged as a new icon of protest in Haiti.