Today KU will both welcome world-renowned Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat for the Humanities Lecture Series, and announce that the entire set of Institute for Haitian Studies publications will be freely available in KU ScholarWorks. So far, 24 of the publications are available online, with approximately three-dozen additional publications to follow later this year.
The University of Kansas has been home to the Institute for Haitian Studies since 1992, when it was founded by Bryant Freeman, currently an emeritus professor of French and Italian, and a leading specialist in the Haitian language. The publications now available online span the years 1992-2000 and include anthropological and historical resources, along with a number of works on Haitian Creole. Resources include organization charts of the Haitian judiciary and military, historical and present-day maps of Haiti, a critical bibliography of English-language books on Haiti, and Professor Freeman's Haitian-English English-Haitian Medical Dictionary.
The publications have been scanned by KU Libraries' Center for Digital Scholarship. In addition, the Libraries have an extensive collection of materials on Haiti, as well as Haitian Creole materials maintained to provide non-textbook examples of the language. Further resources, including audio files for some of the publications, are available on KU's foreign languages website from the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center.
After the 2010 earthquake, members of KU faculty, staff and alumni started conversations about reinvigorating the existing connections between the university and Haiti, which led to the formation of the Haiti Research Initiative. For information on that initiative, KU's long-standing involvement in the region, and opportunities for developing further connections between KU and Haitian institutions, please see Faces of Haiti: Resolute in Reform, Resistance, and Recovery, the report from the group's nine-day visit to Haiti during the summer of 2011.