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Voudou as a Pillar of Haitian Nationality - Constructing a Nation


Patrick Bellegarde-Smith

Professor emeritus Patrick Bellegarde-Smith received his doctorate in international politics and Latin American history, from The American University in 1977. He taught in the field of international development, political economy, and culture, then later, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the field of African-American studies with a focus on Caribbean cultures and politics, Afro-Caribbean religions, and Black feminisms. He is a oungan asogwe, a priest in Haitian Vodou -- his proudest achievement.

He is the author, among other books, of In the Shadow of Powers, (1985, 2nd ed. 2019), The Breached Citadel ( 1990, 2nd ed. 2004), and Fragments of Bone, ed. (2005). For his books and articles on issues of national and personal identities, he received from the University of Haiti, the Jean Price-Mars Medal in 2013, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship from the Haitian Studies Association in 2010. Some of his works have been translated into French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Some of his writings have been anthologized. Bellegarde-Smith currently serves as the President of the Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA), a scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou, and is a former president of the Haitian Studies Association, (HSA). He is an associate editor for the Journal of Haitian Studies, and served on the editorial boards of Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, and Journal of Africana Religions.