Recent publications

Joos, V. (2021, September). Haiti Can Solve Its Own Problems, if Foreign Powers Would Let It. World Politics Review. Retrieved from

Joos, V. (2021, May). Haiti Is Slowly Becoming an Autocracy. World Politics Review. Retrieved from

Joos, V. N. (2020). Echoes of Past Revolutions: Architecture, Memory, and Spectral Politics in the Historic Districts of Port-au-Prince. VIBRANT – Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, 18.

Joos, V. N. (2019, December). Haiti’s Political Disaster: An Internationally Sponsored Crisis. The Globe Post. Retrieved from

Joos, V. N. (2019, September). Gas shortages paralyze Haiti, triggering protests against failing economy and dysfunctional politics. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Joos, V. N. (2019, September). Gas shortages paralyze Haiti, triggering protests against failing economy and dysfunctional politics. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Joos V. ; Laura Wagner (2019). Manje Lakay: Globalisation, Terroirs et Identités Culinaires. Trois/Cent/Soixante Degrés (3).

Joos, V. ; Leleu Eric (2018). The Invisible Jungle of Calais. Limn.

Joos, V. (2017). Space, female economies, and autonomy in the shotgun neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Economic Anthropology, 4 (1), 37-49.

The Invisible ‘Jungle’ of Calais

On October 25, 2016, French riot police evicted thousands of migrants who had settled in an abandoned landfill adjacent to the port of Calais. They were gathered there hoping to cross the English Channel by any means necessary: stowing away on boats or hiding in the trains, trucks, and buses plying the “Chunnel” linking France to Britain. Hundreds of makeshift houses and tents of the so-called “Calais Jungle” were bulldozed or burned while the police forced migrants to board buses taking them to asylum centers scattered through the French countryside.

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Private: Space, female economies, and autonomy in the shotgun neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, Haiti

This article argues that commercial practices, social relations, and moral obligations in downtown Port-au-Prince shape and are shaped by the vernacular buildings in which they take place. Women living in, and working from, shotgun houses—a structure with a small street facade that allows for both private and commercial life — use these houses to build moral economies woven around familial solidarity and egalitarian relations. Working in houses that formerly belonged to Haitian black middle classes implies inheritance of respectability values based around home caretaking, religious life, and intimacy. In their economic inventiveness, women who do not have access to formal employment mobilize the power and politics of these houses in a distinctive mode of work and entrepreneurship. Houses and acts of commerce, together, form a particular kind of Haitian respectability for women that offers visibility, social networking, and risk adversity. These domestic spaces that open up new political, social, and economic horizons are threatened by top-down urban planning projects. Through the narration of the life history of Clomène Firmin, this article details female economic and moral practices and phases of urban planning that had for effect, since the devastating 2010 earthquake, to dismantle female economies in urban centers.

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Opinion: The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are Under Threat

Written with Laura Wagner.

Tomorrow, people throughout the United States will sit down at bountiful Thanksgiving tables to carve turkeys. Many of these turkeys were processed by Haitian laborers in Butterball factories in North Carolina. They are paid low wages for hard work so that American consumers can buy turkeys at ninety-nine cents a pound.

On Tuesday afternoon, one day before President Trump pardoned a turkey named Drumstick, his administration ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 60,000 Haitian people living in the United States, including many of the hardworking immigrants who live in Mount Olive, North Carolina.

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Upbeat Down South: Jimmy Anderson: Natchez Swamp Blues

Linton Avenue in downtown Natchez, Mississippi, is dotted with large Victo- rian homes, surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. In the early twentieth century it was home to successful Jewish families. The maids, gardeners, and carpenters who took care of these homes and the people who resided there lived right behind Linton Avenue on Maple Street, where simple cypress cabins still stand adjacent to small pine shotgun houses. This area was, and remains, one of the only African American neighborhoods in downtown Natchez. The city was highly segregated during the Jim Crow era and today its built environment still recalls its compli- cated social and racial history.


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The Natchez Fire: African American Remembrance through Interviews, Photographs, and Songs

The fire had already taken the life of more than two hundred people, most of them young African Americans, students from the surrounding high schools and colleges who had come to the club to celebrate the end of the school year by jitterbugging to the tunes of then famous Chicago swing jazz band leader Walter Barnes. Along with these interviews are 10 photographs I took between 2009 and 2011, including the places and residents whose memories of the tragedy form the core of my fieldwork. […]I am grateful to Jimmy Anderson and Thelma Williams who allowed me to reproduce several of their archival photographs, each of which adds visual depth to their powerful accounts.

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