Urban Dwellings, Haitian Citizenships: Housing, Memory, and Daily Life in Haiti (Critical Caribbean Studies) (Paperback)
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Urban Dwellings, Haitian Citizenships explores the failed international reconstruction of Port-au-Prince after the devastating 2010 earthquake. It describes the failures of international aid in Haiti while it analyzes examples of Haitian-based reconstruction and economic practices. By interrogating the relationship between indigenous uses of the cityscape and the urbanization of the countryside within a framework that centers on the violence of urban planning, the book shows that the forms of economic development promoted by international agencies institutionalize impermanence and instability. Conversely, it shows how everyday Haitians use and transform the city to create spaces of belonging and forms of citizenship anchored in a long history of resistance to extractive economies. Taking readers into the remnants of failed industrial projects in Haitian provinces and into the streets, rubble, and homes of Port-au-Prince, this book reflects on the possibilities and meanings of dwelling in post-disaster urban landscapes.
About the Author
VINCENT JOOS is an assistant professor of anthropology and global French studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
"Joos’ Urban Dwellings, Haitian Citizenships undertakes a monumental task—analyzing the failures of international aid and post-disaster reconstruction through the lens of urban housing. Arguing for embodied forms of dwelling, Joos compellingly argues for Haitian models of urban housing built upon communal living, vernacular architecture, and sustainable habitation. Through his intimate, empathic ethnography, Joos powerfully asserts a 'right to the city' (and the country) through spatial citizenship, a correlate to what Mimi Sheller (Island Futures) defines as mobile justice."
— Jana Evans Braziel
"Urban Dwellings, Haitian Citizenships is a tour de force, arguing for the importance of place in belonging and citizenship. Exceptionally well-researched, weaving a rich and diverse set of first-hand accounts with scholars from Haiti and elsewhere, Joos brings a critique of foreign disaster capitalism to the highest level, pushing hard against sensationalist narratives."
— Mark Schuller
New Books Network - New Books in Caribbean Studies interview with Vincent Joos
— New Books Network - New Books in Caribbean Studies
"A Big Hole: Notes from Jovenel Moïse’s Hometown," by Vincent Joos
— The Society for Cultural Anthropology
"Richly narrated ethnographies accompanied by well-documented urban projects convey Joos’ principal argument: that culturally anchored practices related to reciprocal networks, income-generation (ti kome´s), social organization, and vernacular dwelling typologies (structures that withstood the earthquake on most occasions), are socially, economically and ecologically sustainable forms of urbanism that may offer viable alternatives to conventional post-disaster rehabilitation trajectories and internationally sponsored urban planning that turn a blind eye to ‘what already is.’"