University of Florida Homepage

Benjamin Hebblethwaite


Associate Professor in Haitian Creole, Haitian and Francophone Studies

Office Hours — Fall 2020

  • Monday: 10:40 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 11:45 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.
  • Or by appointment


Dr. Ben Hebblethwaite researches the intersections of language, culture and songs in the nations of Haiti, Jamaica, France, Germany and the Netherlands. This study of the language and meaning of songs includes research in linguistics, history, literature and society.

Ben has two forthcoming books, including the sole-authored, A Transatlantic History of Haitian Vodou (University Press of Mississippi, 2021) and the co-edited and translated volume with Mariana Past, Stirring up the Pot of Haitian History (Liverpool University Press, 2021). The latter is a translation of Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s 1976 Haitian Creole book, Ti difé boulé sou istoua Ayiti.

At the present time Ben is working on several projects, including, Spirit-based Traditions of the Americas (with Silke Jansen), a U.S. Department of Education-funded introductory Haitian Creole textbook (with David Tezil, Nick André and William Blanc), a book manuscript on Arabesque rap in France and Germany, plus studies on Gullah Creole and Rotterdam Dutch.

Ben has won two national grants, one from the National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research grant (2012-2015) with co-PI Laurent Dubois at Duke University and another from the National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship (2013) with PI Mariana Past at Dickinson College.

Current Course Syllabi


Dr. Hebblethwaite is a Creolist trained at the Indiana University Creole Institute where he contributed as an editorial assistant to the magisterial Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary (Valdman et al 2007). Holding a BA in Religious Studies, an MA in French Literature, and an MA and Ph.D. in French Linguistics, he thrives engaging in interdisciplinary research. As a Haitian Creolist, he is focused on the study and development of the Haitian Creole language and its culture, employing methods in Haitian Creole language documentation, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic ethnomusicology, language contact, and language policy and planning.

Recent Publications


  • Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English (with editorial assistants Joanne Bartley, Chris Ballengee, Vanessa Brissault, Erika Felker-Kantor, Andrew Tarter, Quinn Hansen, and Kat Warwick). Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 396 pages.
  • Hebblethwaite, Benjamin and Jacques Pierre. Une saison en enfer / Yon sezon matchyavèl. Bilingual edition of Arthur Rimbaud’s prose poem including an introduction in Haitian Creole and French. Paris: L’Harmattan, 111 pages.

Selected articles

  • Rastafari Resurgence in Reggae’s Roots Revival Generation: Two Reggae Songs by Chronixx in Jamaican Patwa. Delos Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 96–126.
  • Rap and the Islamic Lexical Field in Parisian French: A Study of Arabic Religious Language Contact with Vernacular French. In Le français dans les métropoles européennes. Edited by Françoise Gadet, pp. 167-184. Paris: Classiques Garnier.
  • 2017. Sik salitasyon nan Rit Rada a: Patwon fondalnatal ak eleman patikilye nan salitasyon lwa Rada yo. Legs et littérature 9, pp. 95-114.
  • Historical linguistic approaches to Haitian Creole: Vodou rites, spirit names and songs: the founders’ contributions to Asogwe Vodou. In La Española – Isla de Encuentros / Hispaniola – Island of Encounters. Edited by Barzen, Jessica Stefanie, Geiger, Hanna Lene, and Jansen, Silke, 65-86. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
  • The Scapegoating of Haitian Vodou Religion: David Brooks’s (2010) Claim that “Voodoo” is a “Progress-Resistant” Cultural Influence. The Journal of Black Studies, 1-20.