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Title: Vodou Class Syllabus
Physical Description: Archival
Language: Haitian Creole (Kréole; Kreyòl ayisyen)
Creator: Hebblethwaite, Benjamin
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the creator.
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System ID: UF00098958:00002

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Syllabus for Introduction to Haitian Vodou,
HAI 3930 (1481) /LAS 2930, Fall, 2009
Center for Latin American Studies and Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of Florida, Gainesville

Location: MCCB 1108 (5 Period) IF YOU HAVE H1N1, STAY

Instructors: Ben Hebblethwaite, Ph.D.
Office location: Dauer Hall, 363
Office hours: Monday 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. and Friday 1:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
Contact information: hebble@ufl.edu

Class website: http://web. clas.ufl. edu/users/hebble/

Class objectives:
This class provides an introduction to this important Haitian culture and religion. The class will
examine Vodou mythology, songs, dances, rhythms, rituals, traditions, structure and culture. In
addition, Vodou's important intersection with painting, proverbs, and popular music and culture will
also be examined. Understanding the roots of Vodou in Benin is an important goal in this class. While
concerned with foreign misrepresentations, the class primarily strives to understand Vodou
from a Vodouist perspective. In order to achieve that goal a new English translation of Haitian Vodou
songs (with the accompanying Haitian Creole originals) will be used in addition to scholarly works
about the culture and religion. This class helps students learn about the form this ancient African
religion and culture takes in Haiti.
The objective of this class is to help develop your understanding of the Haitian Vodou religion
and culture. To do so, the class format involves lectures, slide-presentations (art slides), daily student
presentations, classroom discussions, films and music. The class will have no more than 8 pop-quizzes,
one midterm, one final, and a 6 page final paper (the essay topic is due on October 26th; the final draft
is due on the last day of class). The textbooks provide the background knowledge needed to follow
lectures, participate in discussions and pair-work, and to prepare for and perform well on the
presentation, quizzes, examinations and the paper. Reading the assigned passages carefully while
noting key ideas, events and individuals is a valuable way to study the material. Also, the assigned
readings are your main sources for your paper and they must be cited and included in your

Grade distribution.

(1) 10 % = 2 Class presentations Grade 1: Grade 2:
10 minutes long. Graded for clarity; organization; preparation; effectiveness of
your communication (are you connecting with us? are we convinced?); insight
of your critique.

(2) 20 % = 6 page paper (essay topic and paper). Due on December 10th. See grading criteria

(3) 10 % = As many as 8 quizzes (most are pop-quizzes).

(4) 10% = Homework (HMWK). Write a short commentary on the reading for the day the
paper is due. One well organized, well-written paragraph (1/2 page maximum).
You are graded on your insight into the ideas found in the reading, your unique
interpretation, your ability to discuss the book content in an objective, critical
and scholarly voice. I will also grade you on your use of grammar, spelling and
writing style.

(5) 20 % = Participation; attendance; punctuality, courtesy, attentiveness; respect for learning
environment; etiquette; insights (please, no phones, newspapers and
inappropriate work).

(6) 30 % = 2 Exams (15% each)

General Education Learning Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

International In this class we will learn about the values, attitudes and norms that shape the
cultural differences of peoples who live in countries other than the United States. We will learn
about the roles of geographic location and socioeconomic factors on the lives of citizens in
other countries. Haiti and Benin, West Africa, will be our primary international focuses.

In this class you will analyze and evaluate your cultural norms and values in relation to those
held by citizens in other countries.

Humanities In this class we will learn about the history, underlying theory and
methodologies used within the disciplines of Vodou Studies, Religious Studies, and Haitian
Creole and Haitian Studies.

In this class you will identify and analyze key elements, biases and influences that shape
thought within the disciplines of Haitian Language and Cultural Studies, Haitian civilization,
Vodou Studies, Religious Studies and World Religions. You will approach issues and problems
within these disciplines from multiple perspectives.

You will learn to communicate knowledge, thoughts and reasoning clearly and effectively in
forms appropriate to the discipline, individually and/or in groups.

Required readings (books you need to buy for this class):

1. Metraux, Alfred. 1959. Voodoo in Haiti. New York: Schocken Books.

2. Michel, Claudine and Patrick Bellegarde-Smith. 2006. Vodou in Haitian life and culture:
invisible powers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

3. Hebblethwaite, Benjamin and Joanne Bartley, eds. Forthcoming. Vodou Songs and Texts in
Haitian Creole and English. Gainesville: Classic Editions.

Of men and gods, The Serpent and the Rainbow

Christopher Laroche, Azor, Chandel, Boukman Eksperyans, Wawa & Racine Kanga, Toto
Bissainthe, Koudjay, Tokay, Kanpech, Boukan Ginen, Ram, etc.

No late or makeup work policy
No late or makeup work accepted unless a valid excuse is presented.

Attendance policy
Students are expected to attend class daily. Students may take 3 unexcused absences. Athletes
must be excused by the athletics department. Unexcused absences and tardiness result in a lowering
of the participation grade. Missing class can seriously affect a student's ability to perform in other
categories of the syllabus (such as missed quizzes or the no late w.
If a student is absent, he or she is expected to contact the instructor within 24 hours with the
reason for his or her absence. Medical treatment or a personal or a family crisis are grounds for an
excused absence, a note including a contact phone number is required.

Class quizzes and exams are based upon readings, lecturers and presentations. Students are
expected to review their notes and readings prior to these evaluations.

Paper (Read carefully!)
Students are expected to write a research paper, 5 pages in length + bibliography. The paper
must use .12 Times New Roman font and be double spaced with 1 inch columns on all sides.
The 1 page proposal is due 4 weeks before the end of the semester. Include at least 5 refereed
sources (i.e. books or articles; UF online database books and articles are OK; but NOT the open
access WWW). 3 of your 5 sources must also be the 3 required readings in this class. The required
readings must serve as guidance and form a foundation for your paper topic.
Citations must be accompanied by appropriate bibliographical references. Your paper will be
graded based on the basis of the originality of the ideas, on the clarity and concision of the writing and
editing and the adherence to the requirements given above and below in the reference and bibliography
guideline. You want to show that you have carefully read the books and found additional sources,
which you have read and synthesized, and added you own unique interpretation of events, individuals,
ideas and phenomena. Aim to write a scholarly paper where you strive to produce an objective and
accurate analysis of your topic. Avoid advancing personal ideological preferences and try to take an
empirical approach where the facts are considered. Write an outline as you piece together your study of
Haitian culture and society. Organize and link the parts together.

Reference and Bibliography Guidelines
In the text:

(a) Zephir (1997: 223) advocates the instruction of Haitian Creole in the
United States' secondary education system.

(b) Misclassifying Creole-speakers as African Americans fails to properly
account for linguistic and cultural differences (Zephir 1997: 223).

In the bibliography:

Zephir, Flore. 1997. Haitian Creole Language and Bilingual Education in the United
States: Problem, Right or Resourse? Article in Journal ofMultilingual and Multicultural Development,
Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 223-37

a. Book:
Author. Year of publication. Title of book. City of publisher: Publisher.

b. Article in journal, magazine, etc.:
Author. Year of publication. Title of article. Article in Name of source, Volume/number
of issue, page numbers.

See the bibliography for further examples.

Academic Honesty Guidelines
Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. An
academic honesty offense is defined as the act of lying, cheating, or stealing academic information so
that one gains academic advantage. Any individual who becomes aware of a violation of the Honor
Code is bound by honor to take corrective action.
Violations of the Academic Honesty Guidelines include but are not limited to:
Cheating. The improper taking or tendering of any information or material which shall be used
to determine academic credit. Taking of information includes copying graded homework assignments
from another student; working with another individuals) on graded assignments or homework; looking
or attempting to look at notes, a text, or another student's paper during an exam.
Plagiarism. The attempt to represent the work of another as the product of one's own thought,
whether the other's work is oral or written (including electronic), published or unpublished. Plagiarism
includes, but is not limited to, quoting oral or written materials without citation on written materials or
in oral presentations; submitting work produced by an on-line translation service or the translation
feature of an on-line dictionary as your own.
Misrepresentation. Any act or omission with intent to deceive a teacher for academic
advantage. Misrepresentation includes lying to a teacher to increase your grade; lying or
misrepresenting facts when confronted with an allegation of academic honesty.
Bribery, Conspiracy, Fabrication. For details see below.

The UF Honor Code states:

"We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves andour
peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity."
On all work submitted for credit the following pledge is either required or implied:
"On my honor I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment. "
Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action according to the judicial process.
For more details go to: http://www.dso.ufl.edu /udicial/academic.htm

Students with disabilities
Students with disabilities must register with the Dean of Students office. Contact the Assistant
Dean of Students/Director of the Disability Resources Program at:
P202 Peabody Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-5055
Phone (352) 392-1261 (V), 392-3008 (TDD)
For stress, emotional and psychological support, please contact the Counseling Center at:
301 Peabody Hall
Phone (352) 392-1575
Or: www.cousel.ufl.edu
If you need this syllabus in an alternate format, please speak to Ben.

Syllabus for Introduction to Haitian Vodou, HAI 3930/LAS 2930, Fall, 2009
Center for Latin American Studies and Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of Florida, Gainesville
Instructor: Benjamin Hebblethwaite


Monday, August 24
Wednesday, August 26
Friday, August 28

Monday, August 31
Wednesday, September 2
Friday, September 4
Monday, September 7
Wednesday, September 9
Friday, September 11
Monday, September 14
Wednesday, September 16
Friday, September 18
Monday, September 21
Wednesday, September 23
Friday, September 25
Monday, September 28
Wednesday, September 30
Friday, October 2
Monday, October 5
Wednesday, October 7
Friday, October 9
Monday, October 12
Wednesday, October 14
Friday, October 16
Monday, October 19
Wednesday, October 21
Friday, October 23
Monday, October 26
Wednesday, October 28
Friday, October 30

Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Introduction
Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Introduction

Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Introduction
Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcelin 26-46
HMWK. Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcelin 46-66;

Metraux 25-45; Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcelin 66-77;
Metraux 46-57; Hebblethwaite & Bartley;

Michel (Brown); Metraux 58-76;
Metraux 77-100; HMWK
Metraux 100-119; Hebblethwaite & Bartley, J.L. 93-103 ;

Michel (Michel); Hebblethwaite & Bartley, J.L. 103-114 ;
Michel (Desmangles); Hebblethwaite & Bartley, J.L. 114-123;
Metraux 120-141;

Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcenat 126-140;
Metraux 141-156; HMWK ;
Michel (Fleurant); Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcenat 140-145;

Michel (Wexler); Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcenat 146-150;
Midterm Exam
Metraux 157-168;

Metraux 168-192;

Michel (McAlister);

Michel (Bellegarde-Smith);
Metraux 192-212;

Metraux 212-224; Essay topic due; .
Michel (Tumer);HMWK;
Michel (Minn);

Monday, November 2
Wednesday, November 4
Friday, November 6
Monday, November 9
Wednesday, November 11
Friday, November 13
Monday, November 16
Wednesday, November 18
Friday, November 20

Monday, November 23
Wednesday, November 25
Friday, November 27
Monday, November 30

Wednesday, December 2

Friday, December 4

Monday, December 7

Wednesday, December 9

Metraux 224-243 ; Hebblethwaite & Bartley, Marcenat 151-155;
Hebblethwaite & Bartley, 156-159;
Metraux 243-265; Hebblethwaite & Bartley, terminology 160-163; __

Metraux 266-281 ; Hebblethwaite & Bartley 163-166;
Metraux 281-292 ; Hebblethwaite & Bartley 167-170;

Michel (Benson); Hebblethwaite & Bartley 171-175;
Michel (Coates); Hebblethwaite & Bartley 176-180;
Metraux 292-312; Hebblethwaite & Bartley 181-185;

Metraux 312-322; Hebblethwaite & Bartley 186-189;
Michel (Cosentino); Hebblethwaite & Bartley 190-193;

Paper presentations 1



20 ,21
23. 24.





CONTENT Papers exhibit at least some evidence of ideas that Papers either include a central idea(s) that
respond to the topic with complexity, critically is unclear or off- topic or provide only
evaluating and synthesizing sources, and provide at minimal or inadequate discussion of
least an adequate discussion with basic ideas. Papers may also lack sufficient or
understanding of sources. appropriate sources.

ORGANIZATION AND Documents and paragraphs exhibit at least some Documents and paragraphs lack clearly
COHERENCE identifiable structure for topics, including a clear identifiable organization, may lack any
thesis statement but may require readers to work to coherent sense of logic in associating and
follow progression of ideas. organizing ideas, and may also lack
transitions and coherence to guide the

ARGUMENT AND SUPPORT Documents use persuasive and confident Documents make only weak
presentation of ideas, strongly supported with generalizations, providing little or no
evidence. At the weak end of the Satisfactory support, as in summaries or narratives that
range, documents may provide only generalized fail to provide critical analysis.
discussion of ideas or may provide adequate
discussion but rely on weak support for arguments.

STYLE Documents use a writing style with word choice Documents rely on word usage that is
appropriate to the context, genre, and discipline, inappropriate for the context, genre, or
Sentences should display complexity and logical discipline. Sentences may be overly long
sentence structure. At a minimum, documents will or short with awkward construction.
display a less precise use of vocabulary and an Documents may also use words
uneven use of sentence structure or a writing style incorrectly.
that occasionally veers away from word choice or
tone appropriate to the context, genre, and

MECHANICS Papers will feature correct or error-free Papers contain so many mechanical or
presentation of ideas. At the weak end of the grammatical errors that they impede the
Satisfactory range, papers may contain some reader's understanding or severely
spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors that undermine the writer's credibility.
remain unobtrusive so they do not muddy the
paper's argument or points.

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