About the Lecture
Toussaint Louverture was a former slave who became the charismatic leader of the seismic Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) resulting in the most successful revolt of enslaved people in modern history. In this event, Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh will shed light on an epic yet complex and controversial life story that cuts across slavery, racial hierarchies, imperialism, and the Enlightenment. He will also discuss the impact, enduring legacy, and contemporary relevance of “the first black superhero of the modern age”.
Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh (University of Oxford)
Sudhir Hazareesingh was born in Mauritius. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has been a Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Balliol College, Oxford, since 1990. He has written extensively about French intellectual and cultural history; among his books are The Legend of Napoleon, In the Shadow of the General and How the French Think. He won the Prix du Mémorial d'Ajaccio and the Prix de la Fondation Napoléon for the first of these, a Prix d'Histoire du Sénat for the second, and the Grand Prix du Livre d'Idées for the third. In 2020, he became a Grand Commander of the Order of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (G.C.S.K.), the highest honour of the Republic of Mauritius. His latest publication, Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture won the 2021 Wolfson History Prize, with the judges describing it as an ‘erudite and elegant biography of a courageous leader which tells a gripping story with a message that resonates strongly in our own time’.
Professor Richard English (Queen’s University Belfast)
Richard English is Director of the Mitchell Institute, and a Professor of Politics at Queen's University. His research focuses on political violence and on nationalism, his books including the award-winning studies Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA (2003) and Irish Freedom: The History of Nationalism in Ireland (2006). He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2019 he was awarded the Royal Irish Academy's Gold Medal in the Social Sciences.