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Rachel Benoit
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Comparative Literature
Rachel is a DPhil student in the Medieval and Modern Languages faculty, studying comparative literature. Her research focuses on the works of Gustave Flaubert and William Faulkner, using themes from the Haitian Revolution. She previously completed the Mst. in English and French literature at Brasenose College. Prior to coming to Oxford, Rachel worked as a freelance producer in film and photography, having obtained a B.A. in comparative literature from Brown University and a masters degree in French literature from Université Sorbonne Paris IV.
The United States’ Occupation of Haiti, 1915 - 1934: A Visual Archive
Sponsor: Barrymore Bogues - Rachel researched the photographs and video footage in the Marine Corps' Audio-Visual Archives in Quantico, Virginia taken in Haiti during the United States' occupation of the island from 1915 - 1934. These photographs and footage, along with their captions, provide revealing insights and an evocative depiction of Haiti during the occupation, a significant moment both for Haiti's own history and US-Haitian relations. She then contextualized this visual historical archive by means of interviews, existing records and reportage on the occupation from French, American, and Haitian perspectives. This additional research was conducted at the Bibliothèque National in Paris and New York City.