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The Haitian Zombie and Slavery: Research Path

This course guide supports the course FREN 1880 "The Zombie and the Ghost of Slavery" taught by Dr. Kieran Murphy.

Non-Google Searches


Searching Google is a familiar activity for students. Google uses a computational language called Natural Language Processing (NLP) that allows its search engine to understand or approximate answers to people's searches. 

People talk to Google, and Google understands


Natural Language Processing does not support university catalogs or databases. We must use a different language when looking for information in the university's library catalog or databases. 


Unless you are looking for a known item (a search where you know the title), using nouns related to your topic of interest should give you a few good results.

Using Keywords and Related Terms in Searches in Library Catalog and Databases

Go to the Library's catalog and try some searches:

Look at these examples:

Haitian folklore AND zombie AND root* OR origin

Zombie AND colonialism

Imperialistic hegemony AND voodoo zombie

Zombie AND orientalism

Zombie AND racism

Zombie AND globalism OR capitalism 

American occupation AND Haiti

Eighteenth-century AND slave rebellion 

Haiti AND war independence AND living death

Slavery AND Slave Rebellion

Haitian Zombis 

 Zombie AND oppression 

Cross-cultural appropriations AND Caribbean tradition

Now try some searches in JSTOR

Internet Searches - Background Information

The Internet is a good place to find background information. Background information will help you in the initial steps of your research process. For example, the Encyclopedia Britannica has an entry for Haiti, covering its land, the people, the economy, the government and society, the cultural life, and the history. This content provides a background for understanding essential components of Haitian socio-cultural features.

If you search with the domain extension .edu, you should also find some background information of interest. See, for example, The University of Miami Digital Collection's The Haitian Revolution or Brown University's Remember Haiti - Race & Slavery. Here, you can use the search terms: haitian or other search terms related to your topic. 

Remember: Background information helps you in the initial stage of your research journey, providing keywords you can use in further searches. To find peer-reviewed articles and research published by scholars, you can use the library's catalog and databases, filter by peer-reviewed, and check the author's credentials.