Tag Archives: Haitian Revolution

Fredrik Thomasson events on Haiti/Sweden/Colonial Archives Feb. 4 and 8, 2019 at Harvard/Radcliffe

Please join us for a lecture by Radcliffe Visiting Scholar Fredrik Thomasson entitled Sweden and Haiti, 1791-1825. Register here to attend.

Sweden and Haiti 1791–1825
Monday, February 4 | 4 PM
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Knafel Center, Room 104, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge MA

Haitian historiography is evolving rapidly and the recent focus on the revolution has expanded to cover the first decades of the independent nation/s. New research has refuted the notion of Haitian post-independence isolation.

Uppsala University historian Fredrik Thomasson contextualizes these perspectives in a discussion of Swedish-Haitian relations from the beginning of the rebellions in the early 1790s to the Swedish recognition of Haiti in 1825. Thomasson will compare the reporting in Sweden to that in the Swedish Caribbean colony Saint Barthélemy where the Revolution was seen in a very different light.

The Swedish case is an interesting testimony both to the extent that the revolution was world news and how newly independent Haiti interacted with surrounding colonies, as well as with a distant Scandinavian nation.

Lite refreshments will be served. Register at http://bit.ly/FThomasson to attend.


Fredrik Thomasson

The Colonial Archive and Swedish Saint Barthélemy 1785–1878

Friday, February 8, 2019

12:00 – 1:15 PM

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Byerly Hall (10 Garden Street, Cambridge)

http://bit.ly/Thomasson_Lunch

Fredrik Thomasson, Department of History, Uppsala University

When Sweden sold the Caribbean island Saint Barthélemy to France in 1878, all governmental archives were left on the island. This collection is now held in the French colonial archives in Aix-en-Provence: Archives nationales d’outre-mer. Fonds Suédois de Saint Barthélemy (FSB) – with documents in mainly Swedish, French and English. It covers the entire Swedish period 1785–1878 and is by far the richest source on Swedish Caribbean colonialism.

The archive, c. 300.000 pages, is several times bigger than the material on the Caribbean possession in archives in Sweden but has, with very few exceptions, never been used by Swedish historians.

This presentation discusses the digitization project of the FSB and gives an account for the archive’s exceptional history.

Negotiations with institutional stakeholders and contact with a larger public confirms that this project is very much part of contemporary history and memory debates. Why was the archive never used, and why was there so little interest from Swedish archival institutions to make it accessible?  Other issues to be discussed are the effects of digitization on colonial history, and to what extent access to this archive can change perceptions on Swedish Caribbean colonial history.

Interested in attending? Register as soon as possible at the bit.ly link above.

Seats for our lunches tend to fill quickly, so do register early. We will let you know if you receive a seat.

“The Other Revolution: Haiti, 1789-1804” (version 2.0!)

I am thrilled and delighted that my old friends at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, Rhode Island (a favorite research location) have remounted a new version of the 2004 exhibition that I curated in connection with the JCB’s bicentennial conference on the Haitian Revolution.  The exhibition is open now through the end of April 2014 and is accompanied by a wonderful digital version that you can access here.  The new version of the exhibition is part of a collaboration between the JCB and the New York Historical Society.  If you have not yet seen the scintillating essays in the NYHS’s Revolution! volume that came out a few years ago (edited by Rabinowitz, Dubois, and Bender), by all means hasten to read them.  Thanks so much to Susan Danforth, the JCB’s George S. Parker Curator of Maps and Prints, for all she did to make this new edition of the exhibition possible, and to Leslie Tobias Olsen for work on the website version. Looking forward to marking the occasion with a lecture on Haiti at the JCB on March 8 and, even before then, at a Feb. 21 panel that is part of the “Curators on International Slavery” series at Brown on Feb. 20-21, 2014.