**CANCELLED**The Blackout as Political Paradigm in Haiti

Presented by Dr Greg Beckett Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology University of Western Ontario
Thursday, 12 March 2020 - 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Contact information
Contact person: 
Vincent Mirza ou Larisa Kurtovic
Registration required: 
Cost to attend: 
Free of charge
Event language: 
Event sponsors: 
Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche sur les villes et les processus urbains contemporains (LIVUC) L’école d’études sociologiques et anthropologiques CIPS Center for international Policiy Studies Human Right Research and Education Center


We regret to announce that the event below has been canceled. Due to the increased health risk of airline travel and a longstanding health issue, Dr. Greg Beckett will not be able to travel for the 4:00 p.m. conference.

However, he will participate in a SKYPE conference with the students at 1 p.m. today in room FSS 5028.

We hope to see you there, a lunch will be served !





In Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, most residents have intermittent and irregular access to electrical power. Blackouts are a daily occurrence and a daily reminder of both the state’s lack of capacity to provide services and of the privatization of electrical power among the elite, who use private generators to keep their lights on. In the poorest neighborhoods, blackouts have become a routine reminder of the state’s absence in everyday life. They are also a potent metaphor for talking about not just electrical power but political power as well.

In this talk, Dr Greg Beckett explores the phenomenology of the blackout and show how urban residents use this experience to theorize the crisis of the Haitian state. He suggests that the Haitian concept of the blackout, which is understood as a sudden but anticipated shock, can offer us a new way to think about politics in an era of climate crisis, fuel protests, energy imperialism, and the normalization of disaster and emergency.

Presentation will be in English and will take place on Thursday March 12, 2020, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at FSS 4004.