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Riding with DeathVodou Art and Urban Ecology in the Streets of Port-au-Prince$
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Jana Evans Braziel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496812742

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496812742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

The “Question” of Modernity

The “Question” of Modernity

(p.59) Chapter Two The “Question” of Modernity
Riding with Death

Jana Evans Braziel

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter addresses the question of modernity in Haiti—first as political project and then as artistic production—by examining the quintessential theorists of a seemingly belated modernity in this presumably postmodernist moment: Jürgen Habermas, Arjun Appadurai, and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. It studies the Habermasian and Appaduraian parameters of modernity—as an “unfinished project” and as postcolonial globalization, respectively—before considering Hardt and Negri's important delineations of altermodernity as a model for thinking about Haitian and Port-au-Princian politics. The Habermasian position on reason, rationality, truth, and values is that these categories remain the guiding principles of modernity, but they must be rethought and reconceptualized anew through an altered understanding of subjects and subjectivity. Meanwhile, Appadurai states that “modernity belongs to that small family of theories that both declares and desires universal applicability for itself,” which “aspired to create persons who would, after the fact, have wished to have become modern.”

Keywords:   modernity, Haiti, artistic production, Jürgen Habermas, Arjun Appadurai, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, altermodernity, Haitian politics, Port-au-Princian politics

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