US Library of Congress grant to benefit research for Michael Largey

Library of Congress grant supports Haiti research

Michael Largey, professor of musicology at the College of Music, recently received support for his third book on Haitian culture through a grant from the Gerald E. and Corinne L. Parsons Fund for Ethnography at the Library of Congress.

The grant enabled Largey to travel to Washington, D.C., last July to conduct archival research the American Folklife Center, the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the National Museum of African Art, and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. While on site, Largey found substantial material for his upcoming book Finding Haiti: Authenticity and the Ethnographic Imaginary, including records of fieldwork, photographs, films, and written research by four scholars working in Haiti in the 1930s.

Largey examined ethnographic works by Zora Neale Hurston, Alan Lomax, Melville Herskovits, and Katherine Dunham to discover how their research shaped U.S. understanding of Haitian religious and cultural life. Largey hopes that the University of Chicago Press will publish his book, now in the beginning phases.

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