Focusing on the Haitian author Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s novel Dance on the Volcano (1957), this essay examines representations of an anxious White minority on the eve of the Haitian Revolution. It argues that Vieux-Chauvet deploys theatrical conventions to suggest that White benevolence, a valence of White saviorism, is a performance designed to maintain the status quo of colonial Saint-Domingue. The essay also considers the implications of examining global South critiques of Whiteness for the often US-centric field of critical Whiteness studies. Dance on the Volcano focuses on a uniquely formative moment: the last years of colonial rule punctuated by the raced tensions that gave way to a revolution that forever altered the global colonial order. Vieux-Chauvet’s use of dialogue, gestures, and eavesdropping illustrate the duplicity of White characters, while foregrounding the critical gaze of the protagonist, the first woman of color to perform in the theater of Saint-Domingue.

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