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Past Gould-Saunders Memorial Endowment Travel Fund
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Elsa Goveia Book Prize Recipient announced for 2011-2012

In total 43 books were submitted. The committee thinks that all of these books are of excellent quality. There were a number of strong contenders for the EGP, but ultimately one clear winner emerged: The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti by Kate Ramsey of the University of Miami. Her book is published by The University of Chicago Press.

The committee considers The Spirits and the Law to be a ground-breaking study, combining historical narrative and sophisticated analysis in exploring the relationship between popular practices of Vodou and its legal repression in Haiti’s history. Kate Ramsey uses a compelling writing style to dissect the complex relations between legal cultures and state power on the one hand and popular cultures and resistance on the other. The study is based on a variety of sources, including official archival documents, interviews, travel accounts, and letters. The committee is convinced that The Spirits and the Law not only offers fresh insights into Haitian history, but also that this study will have relevance to our thinking about other Caribbean societies.

Professor Ramsey was unable to join the ACH in person, but generously asked to donate her EGP prize funds to the Gould-Saunders Memorial Travel Fund Award for graduate student travel to the ACH, and hopes to apply to present in Martinique at next year’s conference.

Prize Committee Members: Rosemarijn Hoefte (Chair), Philip Howard, Melanie Newton