session 4 – diasporic praxes of the Caribbean Digital

Nathalie Jolivert, J. Cameron Monroe, and Laurent Dubois

Panelists Nathalie Jolivert and Cameron Monroe discuss the particular usefulness of digital technology to accessing the materiality of the Caribbean past. As architect and archeologist, respectively, Jolivert and Monroe offer perspective on their unique responsibility, as U.S.-based scholar-practitioners, to steward the exploration and dissemination of Haiti’s history within contemporary Haitian communities and beyond. Historian, prolific digital humanist scholar, and great friend to The Caribbean Digital Laurent Dubois will facilitate this conversation.


Nathalie Jolivert is a New York City–based architectural designer and artist who grew up in Haiti and received her B.F.A. and B.Arch. from the Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD she won the Gensler National Diversity Award in 2011, which features her eco-touristic project for the Wayuu tribe of La Guajira in Colombia. Professionally, Jolivert worked on various projects with Architecture For Humanity, Studio Drum Collaborative, and the Architectural Association Visiting School in Haiti. She also won a travel art residency to Bangladesh and Malawi which led to an exhibition at the Frontiers in Development Forum in Washington, DC (2014). Her interest in the urban fabric of Port-au-Prince led her to write an essay titled “Bringing down the Walls,” published in UCLA’s Haiti NOW urban almanac (2015). Jolivert’s design process is often inspired by local stories, which she incorporates throughout her architectural and art projects.

Cameron Monroe is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz, and Director of the UCSC Archaeological Research Center. He earned a B.A. from UC Berkeley (1995) and PhD from UCLA (2003), both degrees in Anthropology. Between 2004 and 2006, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Departments of African and African American Studies, Anthropology, and History at Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz in the Fall of 2006. Monroe’s research uses an archaeological approach to examines political, economic, and cultural transformation in West Africa and the Diaspora in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Between 2000 and 2013 he conducted field research in the Republic of Benin on the spatial dimensions of political authority and the slave trade in the Kingdom of Dahomey. Since 2015 he has directed research on the materiality of political authority in the Kingdom of Haiti.  At UC Santa Cruz, he teaches courses in general archaeology, the archaeology of colonialism, slavery and the slave trade, and spatial analysis.

Laurent Dubois is Professor of Romance Studies and History and the Founding Director of the Forum for Scholars & Publics at Duke University. He is the author of six books, including Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004), Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010), Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012) and The Banjo: America’s African Instrument (2016). In 2018 he will publish The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer with Basic Books. His writings have appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, the New York Times, Slate, Sports Illustrated, and The New Republic. In 2016-17 he was a fellow at the National Humanities Center, where he began work on an experimental biography of Katherine Dunham.