Patrick Sylvain is a Haitian-American poet, writer, photographer, social and literary critic who has published widely on Haitian, Haitian diaspora culture, politics, language, and religion. He is the author of several poetry books in English and Haitian, and his poems have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. He is published in several anthologies, academic journals, books, magazines and reviews including: African American Review, Agni, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Chicago Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Transition, and The Caribbean Writer. Sylvain has degrees from the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), Harvard University (Ed.M.), and Boston University (MFA). Sylvain is a lecturer at Brown University's Africana Studies as well as Brandeis University's AAAS where he teaches courses on "Critical Race Theory," "Global Black Radicalism," "Black Intellectual Traditions," and "Haitian History, Politics, and Culture." Sylvain is also the Shirle Dorothy Robbins Creative Writing Prize Fellow at Brandeis University where he is completing his PhD in English (March 2022 Defense). Sylvain's poetry chapbook, Underworlds, is published by Central Square Press (2018). Sylvain is a featured  poet on Benjamin Boone's Poetry and Jazz CD  The Poets are Gathering (Oct 2020). His new bilingual poetry collection Unfinished Dreams /Rèv San Bout will be published by JEBCA Editions (December 2021). He is the leading author of the forthcoming book Education Across Borders: Immigration, Race, and Identity in the Classroom to be published by Beacon Press (February 2022).

Laurent Dubois is the John L. Nau III Bicentennial Professor in the History & Principles of Democracy in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, and Co-Director for Academic Affairs of the Democracy Initiative. From 2007 to 2020, he was Professor of Romance Studies & History at Duke University, where he co-directed the Haiti Laboratory from 2010-13 and then founded and directed the Forum for Scholars & Publics. He has written about the Age of Revolution in the Caribbean, with Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004), which won four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize. His 2012 Haiti: The Aftershocks of History was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He has also written about the politics of soccer, with Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010) and The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer (2018). His work on the cultural history of music, The Banjo: America's African Instrument (2016), was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship. His most recent book is Freedom Roots: Histories from the Caribbean (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), co-authored with Richard Turits. His writings on music, history and sport have appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, and Sports Illustrated. He is currently beginning work on a history of the French Atlantic.

Zoe Marks is a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of conflict and political violence; race, gender and inequality; peacebuilding; and African politics.

Her current book project examines the internal dynamics of rebellion in Sierra Leone to understand how and why rebel groups can sustain a viable threat to the state without widespread support. It draws on nearly a decade of fieldwork, several hundred interviews with former combatants and community members, and private archives from members of the Revolutionary United Front. Professor Marks is leading a separate project that examines how wartime experiences shape individual wellbeing and community reintegration after war. Using surveys and social network analysis in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the project compares peaceful and protracted conflict settings, respectively, to explain how mobilization for violence affects prospects for poverty alleviation and peace.

In addition to her research on peace and conflict, Professor Marks is committed to creating space for conversations about ethical research praxis and making academia more inclusive. She has convened workshops related to decolonizing the academy and with colleagues at the University of Cape Town edited a related special double issue of the journal Critical African Studies.

Her work has been supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, UK Department for International Development, Swedish Folke Bernadotte Academy, British Academy, Carnegie Trust, US Fulbright Program, and Oxford Beit Fund. Her research has been published in leading journals in the field, including Political GeographyAfrican Affairs, and Civil Wars, and in peer-reviewed books and edited volumes from Oxford University and Palgrave press. Her dissertation received the Winchester Prize for the best dissertation in Politics at the University of Oxford. She serves on the editorial boards for the journals Critical African Studies and Civil Wars, and on the editorial committee of the Journal of Peace Research

Dr. Marks holds a DPhil in Politics and MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Government and African American Studies from Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, she was a Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer (tenured) at the University of Edinburgh, where she directed the masters program in African Studies and was Director of the University's Global Development Academy. She has previously worked for UN and non-governmental organizations in Ethiopia, France, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the UK, and the US.