Skip to content
Bertin M Louis, Jr.

Bertin M Louis, Jr.

Assistant Professor


Research

Bertin M. Louis, Jr. is Vice Chair of Africana Studies and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), a 2015 UTK Quest Scholar of the week, a 2013 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Travel Grant Award recipient and a 2012 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Leadership Fellow. Dr. Louis studies the growth of Protestant forms of Christianity among Haitians transnationally, which is featured in his New York University Press book, “My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas (2015)” which was a Finalist for the 2015 Haitian Studies Association Book Prize in the Social Sciences. He also studies human rights and statelessness among Haitians in the Bahamas. Dr. Louis teaches courses in Africana Studies and Cultural Anthropology and he received his PhD in 2008 from the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis.

Dr. Louis also informs students, faculty, and the public about Haitian history and culture. Since the Haiti earthquake, he has appeared on WATE-6 News at 5:30, Tennessee This Week, The George Korda Radio Show, The Hubert Smith Radio Show and UT Today. As part of those efforts he also BertBsdcreated the FOCUS ON HAITI website for the Association of Black Anthropologists, which serves as the main Haiti informational website for the American Anthropological Association.

Dr. Louis’s published work appears in several peer-reviewed journals such as Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas, Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, The Journal of Haitian Studies, The Journal of African American Studies, Transforming Anthropology, the Greenwood Press publication Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans, and the Social Science Research Council’s THE IMMANENT FRAME blog. Most recently, he wrote a widely-shared essay in celebration of Haitian Flag Day, co-authored an Op-Ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about American police violence against black people, was interviewed by USA Today’s White House reporter on President Obama and Race and created the #ShamelesslyHaitian hashtag on Twitter in celebration of Haitian Independence Day (January 1, 2014 and 2015) and Haitian Flag Day (May 18, 2015). He also was a guest on the 3rd season of Blackademics TV, a production of the Institute for Community, University and School Partnerships at the University of Texas at Austin and PBS station KLRU. His episode about the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas premiered on November 22nd, 2015 at 1 p.m. on KLRU and is available now on the internet.


Education

  • Ph.D. 2008, Washington University in St. Louis
  • M.A. 2000, Graduate Faculty, The New School for Social Research
  • B.A. 1993, Syracuse University

Awards and Recognitions

2015

2014

2012

  • American Anthropological Association Leadership Mentoring Award ($500 travel subsidy).

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Books

2015 -  My Soul Is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas. 179 pages. 7 halftones, 2 maps. ISBN: 9781479809936. New York: New York University Press.

Essays

2015 -  “Oliver Osborne, RN PhD: African American Nurse-Anthropologist Pioneer.” In African-American Pioneers in Anthropology: The Second Generation. Edited by Ira Harrison and Faye Harrison. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2016. Manuscript submitted.

2015 - “Misuse of the Bully Pulpit: Racial Justice under Obama.” Bertin M. Louis, Jr. (first author) and Wornie L. Reed. In Race in the Age of Obama: Part (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations [Volume 19]. Edited by Donald Cunnigen and Marino Bruce for the “Race and Ethnic Relations Series.” Emerald Group Publishing LTD.

2012 - The Haitian Diaspora in the Bahamas: An Alternative View. Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas. Volume 13, Number 3. Pp. 74-94.

2012 - Touloutoutou and Tet Mare Churches: Language, Class and Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas. Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. Volume 41, Number 2, Pp. 216-230.

2011 - Haitian Protestant Views of Vodou and the Importance of Karacktè (Character) Within a Transnational Social Field. The Journal of Haitian Studies. Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2011. Pp. 211-227.

2009 - “No More Excuses:” Problematic Responses to Barack Obama’s Election. Co-Authored with Dr. Wornie L. Reed (Africana Studies Program, The University of Tennessee). Journal of African American Studies: Volume 13, Issue 2.

Long Encyclopedia Entries

2012  - “Haitian Immigrants.” In The Encyclopedia of Multicultural America: The Newest Americans. Greenwood Publishers. Pp. 887 – 932.

Op-Eds and Opinion Pieces

2015 - “Celebrating Revolutionary Blackness: Haitian Flag Day and the Importance of the Haitian Flag.” Published on the following websites:

2014 - “Blue vs. Black is a Domestic Security Concern.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Co-Authored with Tobias T. Gibson

2012 - Devin Jolicoeur and Police Violence against Black Men in the United States.

Published on the following websites:

2010 - “Haiti’s Pact With the Devil? Some Haitians (Haitian Protestants) Believe This, Too.”

Published on the following websites:

2003 - “To Cut or Not to Cut: A Hair-Raising Anthropological Fieldwork Dilemma in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.” In Anthropology News. National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA) Column.  

Invited Book Reviews

2015 - The Journal of Haitian Studies. Volume 21(1). Book Review of “Crossing The Water and Keeping The Faith” by Terry Rey and Alex Stepick.

2013 - Transforming Anthropology. Volume 21(2) “Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora” by Regine O. Jackson.

2001 - Transforming Anthropology. Volume 10(2) “Losing The Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America” by John McWhorter.

Manuscripts in Preparation

“Christianity, Politics and a Lack of Social Activism: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas”

  • Invited for the "Christianity, Politics, and Social Activism in Africa and the African Diaspora" Colloquium at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies (March 3-5, 2016). Manuscript Submitted.

#BlackRuralLivesMatter: An Ethnography of an Anti-Racist Christian Organization in the US South (Co-authored with Frances Henderson)

  • Special issue of Transforming Anthropology: The Journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists (“Baltimore and Beyond: Racialized Ghettos, Violence & The Role of Anthropology.”) Abstract Submitted.

Protestant or Christian: Symbolic Boundaries and Nationalism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas.

  • In preparation for American Ethnologist.

Haitian Protestantism in Transnational Perspective.

  • Edited Volume Book Prospectus in preparation.

Haiti’s Pact with the Devil: Bwa Kayiman, Haitian Protestant Views of Vodou and the Future of Post-Earthquake Haiti.

  • In preparation for Haitian Protestantism in Transnational Perspective (Edited Volume).

The Two Haitians: Haitians and Bahamians of Haitian Descent.

  • In preparation for The International Journal of Bahamian Studies.
Bertin M Louis, Jr.

Contact Information

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.