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Patrick McDevitt (History): “Great Britain, Ireland, and the Haitian Revolution”

Scholars at AK

Friday, March 4, 2011, 4 pm

With the UB Humanities Institute and riverrun

AK café

This project explores the British invasion of St. Domingue during the Haitian Revolution and its cultural resonance in both Britain and Ireland. By placing events—namely the Haitian Revolution and the 1798 United Irishmen’s Uprising—which are normally dealt with by completely different historiographic traditions in direct conversation with one another, it is hoped that a fuller and more accurate vision of the lived experience of the revolutionary Atlantic will be revealed. By exploring rhetorical connections between Ireland and St. Domingue, and specifically between blacks and Catholics, this project seeks to better understand the construction of race, empire, and natural rights in the British Isles following the loss of the American colonies and during the war with revolutionary France. Importantly, my study will pay particular attention to divergent uses of this analogy by not just metropolitan English commentators, but Irish Protestant and Catholic commentators as well, both before and after the events of 1798.

Patrick McDevitt teaches and writes about the British Empire, Ireland, and the Atlantic World. He is the author of May the Best Man Win: Sport, Masculinity and Nationalism in Great Britain and the Empire, 1880–1935. He was educated at New York University, the University of Canterbury (NZ), and Rutgers University.

This series transforms AK café into an “intellectual salon,” joining the University at Buffalo and the center of cultural life in the city. Scholars at AK features lectures by UB faculty who have been awarded Humanities Institute fellowships and provides an opportunity for the University and the Buffalo community to build connections through conversation.

Admission is free. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar are available.


On the First Friday of every month—from 10 am to 10 pm—admission to the Gallery's Collection, and to most events and performances, is free for everyone. See full schedule for Friday, March 4, 2011