Affiliated Institutions

The University of Tennessee

Bertin M. Louis, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a 2013 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Travel Grant Award recipient, and a 2012 American Anthropological Association Leadership Fellow. Dr. Louis studies the growth of Protestant forms of Christianity among Haitians in the Bahamas and the United States, which is featured in his forthcoming New York University Press book, "My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas (2014)." He also studies Bahamians of Haitian descent and statelessness. Dr. Louis teaches courses in Africana Studies and Cultural Anthropology and he received his PhD in 2008 from the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis. He also created the FOCUS ON HAITI website for the ABA. Most recently, he created #ShamelesslyHaitian, a trending topic on Twitter.

Areas of Research

Transnational Religious Movements, Statelessness,


Louis, Bertin. “The Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas: An Alternative View.” Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas. Volume 13, Number 3. Pp. 74 – 94. 2012.

Louis, Bertin. “Touloutoutou and Tet Mare Churches: Language, Class and Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas.” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses. Volume 41, Number 2, Pp. 216-230. 2012.

Louis, Bertin. “Haitian Protestant Views of Vodou and the Importance of Karacktè (Character) Within a Transnational Social Field.” The Journal of Haitian Studies. Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2011. Pp. 211-227. 2011.

Reed, Wornie and Bertin Louis. “No More Excuses:” Problematic Responses to Barack Obama’s Election. Journal of African American Studies: Volume 13, Issue 2. 2009.

Louis, Bertin. #shamelesslyhaitian on Haiti’s Independence Day ( Global Voices Caribbean. January 6, 2014.

Louis, Bertin. Devin Jolicoeur and Police Violence against Black Men in the United States (December 20, 2012). Published on the following websites: • New Black Man Blogspot • Black Food • The New Black Magazine

Louis, Bertin. “Haitian Immigrants.” The Encyclopedia of Multicultural America: The Newest Americans. Greenwood Publishers. Pp. 887 – 932. 2012.

Louis, Bertin. “Haiti’s Pact With the Devil? Some Haitians (Haitian Protestants) Believe This, Too.” Social Science Research Council. The Immanent Frame 2010.

Louis, Bertin. “To Cut or Not to Cut: A Hair-Raising Anthropological Fieldwork Dilemma in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.” In Anthropology News. National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA) Column. 2003.

Louis, Bertin. Transforming Anthropology. Volume 21(2) Book Review of “Geographies of the Haitian Diaspora” by Regine O. Jackson. 2013.


Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas

My Soul is in Haiti: Protestantism in the Haitian Diaspora of the Bahamas

I analyze the practice of Evangelical Protestant forms of Christianity by Haitian migrants in the Bahamas. I argue that these migrants use symbolic boundaries to recreate Protestant religious practices from Haiti, to combat their marginalization and stigmatization in a nation that is hostile to them, and to also critique Haitian society through migrant calls for the overall transformation of Haiti into a Protestant Christian nation.

Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas

My next research project is about stateless Bahamians of Haitian Descent (BHD) in the Bahamas. I spent Summer 2012 conducting follow-up interviews with former BHD research consultants. I will apply for additional funds to conduct additional research. This work will produce a book and articles that should advance theory in citizenship, diaspora, human rights, religious studies, and statelessness studies and hopefully contribute to Bahamian public policy debates.