Dr. Asselin Charles, currently co-editor of the HDNdigest, is an independent scholar and literary translator, who holds a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature (Pennsylvania State University). He is fluent in French, English, and Haitian Kreyòl and reads Spanish and Portuguese.
Dr. Charles has taught writing, communications, and literature at various institutions of higher education in several countries: United States (Brown University and Mount Olive University), Canada (Humber College and Centennial College),Taiwan (the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Wenzao College, and Hsin Kuo University), Nigeria (the American University of Nigeria and Kwara State University), and Haiti (the Faculté de Linguistique appliquée).
As a scholar, Dr.charles’s research focuses on the parallels and intersections in Black Atlantic literatures, particularly in Harlem Renaissance writings and in the francophone, creolophone, and anglophone literatures of the Caribbean. He has published many articles in academic journals and contributed to books on topics in these areas. In addition, he has delivered lectures and papers on subjects in his field at academic conferences around the world.
Dr. Charles is also a published literary translator. He has produced the first English translation of Anténor Firmin’s masterwork, De l’Égalité des races humaines (The Equality of the Human Races, 1885; 660 pages), a translation that has had enormous impact on such fields as anthropology, Africana studies, and Caribbean studies around the world. He has also translated into English René Depestre’s famous collection of short stories, Alléluia pour une femme-jardin (Alleluia for a Garden Woman). He has published an English version of Franketienne’s well known play Pèlentèt (The Noose), the first English translation of a Franketienne work, which was performed in 2001 at New York’s Immigrant Theatre Festival and will be staged in October 2024 at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Dr. Charles’s English translation of Franketienne’s well-known Kreyòl novel, Dezafi, was published in the prestigious CARAF collection of University of Virginia Press (2018). His translation of this literary masterpiece was long-listed for the 2019 Best Translated Book Award in the United States and was awarded Honorable Mention in the competition for the Lois Roth Award for an outstanding translation of a literary work by the Modern Language Association (11 January 2020).