You are invited to join us for the third meeting of the Colloquium for Latin American and Caribbean History as we welcome Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall from the California State University, San Marcos who will be presenting a paper entitled “‘Slave Revolts on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Videogames”.
The lecture considers existing films and video games on the Haitian Revolution in light of anthropologist Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s arguments about the “unthinkability” of this event. It will compare existing cinematic representations of the Revolution to current historiography on the Revolution, as well as to recent video games which touch upon slave revolt in colonial Saint-Domingue. Is it possible that despite conventional wisdom about video games representing the past simplistically, that such games could offer a better depiction than existing films, let alone many textbooks? In examining video games as well as films, the paper will consider larger issues about the representation of slavery and of slave revolt in twenty-first century popular culture.
Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall is professor of history at California State University San Marcos. Prof. Sepinwall’s research focuses on the late 18th and early 19th centuries, particularly in France and Haiti. Her scholarship centers on the origins of modern thinking about difference, whether religious, racial, linguistic or gender. She published The Abbé Grégoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism (University of California Press, 2005), Haitian History: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2012) and many articles and book chapters.
The event is cosponsored by the Department of History, the Center for Black Studies, the Colloquium for Caribbean and Latin American History, and the Slavery, Captivity, and the Meaning of Freedom RFG Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.