Bertin M. Louis, Jr.

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  • Associate Professor
  • Anthropology
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies
102A Lafferty Hall (Anthropology)
  • Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

Bertin M. Louis, Jr. is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American & Africana Studies (AAAS) at the University of Kentucky and served as the inaugural Director of Undergraduate Studies for AAAS (2019-2021). He is past Editor of Conditionally Accepted, a current regular contributor to Higher Ed Jobs and will begin a two-year term as President of the Association of Black Anthropologists starting November 2021. He is 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 and antiracist social movements in the US South.  Dr. Louis teaches courses in Black 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 2010 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 created the FOCUS ON HAITI website for the Association of Black Anthropologists, which served as the main Haiti informational website for the American Anthropological Association.

Dr. Louis’s published work appears in several peer-reviewed journals such as Religions, 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, The International Journal of Africana Studies, Transforming Anthropology, the Greenwood Press publication Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans, the edited volume “The Second Generation of African-American Pioneers in Anthropology,” and the Social Science Research Council’s THE IMMANENT FRAME blog. 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 PBS station KLRU.  In 2016, he appeared on the Islam Channel’s “Africa This Week” show to discuss San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the American National Anthem and police violence against black people.

In 2019, Dr. Louis co-authored a two-part essay for Inside Higher Ed’s Conditionally Accepted blog about navigating joint Africana Studies academic positions, wrote one essay about the struggle for human rights in Haiti for The North Star and another widely-read article about rising anti-Haitianism in post-Hurricane Dorian Bahamas for The Conversation. On January 3rd,  2020, Louis published his first essay as editor of Conditionally Accepted, a column dedicated to augmenting the voices of marginalized scholars. He also serves as a regular contributor to Higher Ed Jobs.




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