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Jason Herbeck Presents Paper at 35th Annual Haitian Studies Association Conference

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Jason Herbeck recently presented a paper titled, “Masques et marasa comme métaphores: L’équivoque de la gémellité dans Les Jumelles de la rue Nicolas d’Évelyne Trouillot” (“Masks and Marasa as Metaphors: The Ambivalence of Twinness in The Twins of Nicolas Street by Évelyne Trouillot”), at the 35th annual Haitian Studies Association conference on the topic of “Ayiti Se Tè Glise: Im/Migration, Movement & In-Betweenness,” held in Atlanta, Georgia.

In his paper, Herbeck examined the theme of twinness in Trouillot’s eighth and most recent novel (2022), first on the physical and emotional level of the twin half-sisters whose alternating voices comprise the narrative, then in the context of a “non-biological twinness” that is presented alongside that of the twins themselves.  Demonstrating the ways in which Haitians in the novel are portrayed as seeking to resemble others as a means to social, cultural and/or geographical mobility or, conversely, are reductively viewed as being similar to one another due to their origins, Herbeck suggested in his reading that the theme of twinness serves to articulate the “inbetweenness” of the Haitian experience both in Haiti and the diaspora.