Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Tectonic Shifts What Haiti’s massive earthquake exposed about the country’s past —and tells us about the present

Contact: Jennifer Kern
Marketing Associate
(703) 996-1022


“Tectonic Shifts is a must read for anyone who has ever heard the word ‘Haiti’ and would like to know more. Guiding us way beyond the usual narrative tropes and sound bites, this konbit of a book peels away at centuries’ worth of misinformation about this much maligned but magnificent country. A phenomenal contribution to Haitian history, politics, culture—and survival—both before and after the earthquake.”

– Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I’m Dying

Sterling, VA: The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Haiti’s capital on January 12, 2010 will be remembered as the single, deadliest disaster the island faced in over 200 years. The quake exposed centuries of underdevelopment, misguided economic policies, and foreign aid interventions that have contributed to rampant inequality and social exclusion in Haiti.

Tectonic Shifts offers a diverse on-the-ground set of perspectives about Haiti’s cataclysmic earthquake and the aftermath that followed. Starting with a critical analysis of Haiti’s heightened vulnerability as a result of mismanagement by officials and the recent changes in neo-liberal economic policies, this book addresses a range of contemporary realities, foreign impositions, and the struggles that the people of Haiti face today.

Through a collection of essays by the voices of Haiti themselves – scholars, journalists and activists – Tectonic Shifts provides lessons on how the people of Haiti managed during the relief and reconstruction periods, and offers hope for those seeking social justice and real transformation in the world. What the people of Haiti teach us is to start by changing ourselves.

The book is co-edited by anthropologist Mark Schuller, assistant professor at York College-the City University of New York (CUNY) and affiliate at l’Université d’État d’Haïti (UEH) and Pablo Morales, former editor of the NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America) Report on the Americas. It includes 46 chapters written by individuals and groups, half from Haiti: Ayiti Kale Je/ Haiti Grassroots Watch Batay Ouvriye, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique, Roland Bélizaire, Beverly Bell, Jean-Yves Blot, Brennan Bollman, Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Myriam J.A. Chancy, Manolia Charlotin, Lisa Davis, Lise Marie Dejean, Eramithe Delva, Fritz Deshommes, Disaster Accountability Project, Isabeau Doucet, Etant Dupain, Alex Dupuy, Kevin Edmonds, Yolette Etienne, Carine Exantus, Marshall Fleurant, Patrice Florvilus, Fòs Reflekson ak Aksyon sou Koze Kay ann Ayiti (FRAKKA), The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Louise Ivers, Kim Ives, Chenet Jean-Baptiste, Hervé Jean Michel, Mario Joseph, Valerie Kaussen, Janil Lwijis, Isabel Macdonald, MADRE, Melinda Miles, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Veerle Opgenhaffen, Deepa Panchang, Nicole Phillips, Renaud Piarroux, Rishi Rattan, Jane Regan, Margaret Satterthwaite, Lindsay Schubiner, Mark Schuller, Jeena Shah, Mark Snyder, Patrick Sylvain, Evelyne Trouillot, Gina Athena Ulysse, Malya Villard, Charles Vorbe, David Walton, Mark Weisbrot, and Joris Willems.

Tectonic Shifts released on January 5, 2012 to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the devastating event. The book retails for $24.95, and is available for purchase through Kumarian Press –

On Wednesday, January 11, at 1 p.m. the book will be launched at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, situated across from the National Palace among one of Haiti’s largest internally displaced people (IDP) camps. The over 20 Haitian contributors have been invited to participate along with half a dozen foreign writers who will be in Haiti for the earthquake’s anniversary.

Contact Jennifer Kern at Stylus Publishing for more information on Tectonic Shifts via e-mail at or phone: (703) 996-1022.


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