Gaffney, Jennifer Ann (2016-04). From Citizenship to the Space of Appearance: Arendt, Haiti, and the Problem of Political Exclusion. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This dissertation critically examines current notions of citizenship in order to address political exclusion in the context of the legacy of slavery and colonization in the African Diaspora. To this end, I consider the work of political philosopher Hannah Arendt in light of an analysis of the Haitian Revolution to show that the rights afforded by citizenship are not enough to overcome contemporary forms of exclusion that remain bound up with this legacy. Beyond citizenship, I argue that coming to terms with the global impact of slavery and colonization today depends on developing political forms of historical memory that enable the transgressions of the past to appear in public so that they are able to authentically guide democratic practice and policy formation.

ETD Chair

  • George, Theodore  Professor and Texas A&M Presidential Impact fellow, Head of the Department of Philosophy

publication date

  • May 2016