Louis Herns Marcelin

Associate Professor

Dr. Marcelin is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on anthropology of family and kinship in the Americas. His research also examines questions related to health and human security, and the roles of power, violence, and marginalization in society (particularly in Brazil, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States).  He began his career conducting extensive field research on family, kinship, and religious practices in rural and urban areas of Haiti, which became a widely-used and widely-cited reference among social scientists interested in understanding Haitian sociocultural dynamics. 

His five-year doctoral field study on “Family, Domesticity, and Kinship among Afro-Brazilians,” at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro analyzed family processes among Blacks in Northeastern Brazil.  The study has proven critical for subsequent analysis of the political economy of race in Brazil, the social organization of exclusion, and the resilient nature of old structures of plantations that underlie the marginalization of people of African descent, not only in Brazil but throughout the Americas.

In furtherance of these research interests he was awarded NIH/NIDA research grants to implement the Haitian Adolescent Study over 13 years to investigate the intersections of marginalization, health risks, drug use, gang violence, and immigration processes in the United States (South Florida).  

The constant questioning of academic disciplines’ limitations and their epistemologies also led him to place collaboration at the center of his works. With these in mind, in 2007, he led the creation of the Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development-INURED in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. INURED is a transnational and transdisciplinary institute with the mission to contribute to the development of high-level research and scientific training in Haiti and the Caribbean with the aim of improving the educational, socio-economic, and political condition of these societies.  INURED has served as a conduit for cross-disciplinary collaborations between University of Miami students and faculty, their peers from other universities, with local community stakeholders through participatory research. These collaborative endeavors have given rise to milestone studies, including the first national study on Violence Against Children (VACS) in Haiti, sponsored by and in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the study of Public Policies, Migration, and Development in Haiti, a 10-country comparative case study sponsored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); the study of Haitian Diaspora Involvement in Rebuilding Higher Education in Post-Earthquake Haiti, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as well as the Study of Higher Education and Development in Haiti funded in part by the Fulbright Scholar Program and INURED, among other important studies. More info visit this site


Some of Dr. Marcelin's publications include:

2015 Marcelin, L.H. Violence, Human Insecurity and the Challenge of Building Haiti: A Study of a Shantytown in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Current Anthropology, Vol. 56, N0.2.

2012 Marcelin, L.H. In the Name of the Nation: Ritual, Blood, and the Political Habitus of Violence in Haiti, American Anthropologist, Vol. 114, No. 2.

2011 Marcelin, L.H. Cooperation, Peace, and Reconstruction: A Tale from the Shanties. Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 6(3).

2007 Marcelin, LH, McCoy HV, DiClemente, RJ.  HIV knowledge and beliefs among Haitian adolescents in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children and Youth.

2006 Marcelin, L. H. Identity, Power, and Socioracial Hierarchies among Haitian Immigrants in Miami-Dade, Florida. In Anani Dzidzenyo & Suzanne Oboler (Eds.), Neither Enemies Nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos/as. New York: Palgrave.

2007 Marcelin, LH, McCoy HV, DiClemente, RJ.  HIV knowledge and beliefs among Haitian adolescents in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children and Youth, (7)1:121-138.

2005 Marcelin, L.H., Vivian, J., DiClemente, R., Shultz, & Page, J.B.  Trends in alcohol, drug, and cigarette use in Haitian Youth in Miami-Dade, Florida. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 4:1, 105-131.

1999 Marcelin, Louis Herns. A Linguagem da Casa entre os Negros no Recôncavo da Bahia. Mana: Jornal de Antropologia Social, 5(2):31-60.



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