Haitian Fiction

Nov 2004

This was one of the most unbelievable classes I have ever taken in my life! First of all, the material is incredible. As I learned this semester, French Caribbean literature is both well-written and full of substance (unlike the French literature of France, which tends to be excessively verbose, flowery, and about nothing in particular). It was wonderful to learn about something so obscure - I would not know anything about Haitian history and politics, if it were not for this class. The material aside, Kaiama herself is an amazing professor. She is extremely knowledgeable about her subject, yet full of the youthful passion that not many scholars have today. She cares wholeheartedly about her class and her students. She wants everyone to not only understand the material, but also to come up with their own ideas about the texts. The class is very intimate, and even though it is a lecture, the small number of students makes for a very discussion-oriented seminar-style class. You cannot get away without having done the majority of the reading (I don't know why you wouldn't want to though, it's very good!!!). Students are expected to participate actively at all times and it is difficult to fudge having read an obscure Haitian book. Grading is very fair (even on the generous side). Everyone who is capable of taking this class should. It is a pity not more people speak French, so that they can appreciate the amazingness that is Kaiama's class!!!