Vast Early America at the Washington History Seminar

Join historians Brandon R. Byrd and Laurent Dubois for an OI-sponsored session of the National History Center’s Washington History Seminar. Usually convened in person at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, the event will take place online.

OI Executive Director Karin Wulf moderates a discussion of Brandon Byrd’s The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti on Monday, March 1, at 4:00 pm EST.


Brandon R. Byrd is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Black intellectual and social history, with a special focus on Black internationalism. He earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently teaches history at Vanderbilt University. His favorite books include Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2007) and Edwidge Danticat, Brother I’m Dying (2007).

Laurent Dubois is the Democracy Initiative Professor in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, and Co-Director of the Democracy Initiative. He has written about the Age of Revolution in the Caribbean, with Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004), which won four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize. His 2012 Haiti: The Aftershocks of History was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His work on the cultural history of music, The Banjo: America’s African Instrument (2016), was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship. He is currently beginning work on a history of the French Atlantic.

A joint venture of the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the History and Public Policy Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Washington History Seminar meets each week, January to May and September to December. The Washington History Seminar aims to facilitate understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and all places and from a variety of perspectives.