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HomeArts-EntertainmentEventsA Book Affair with Professor Max Hilaire at Seven Flags Museum Friday

A Book Affair with Professor Max Hilaire at Seven Flags Museum Friday

Max Hilaire (Photo courtesy of Patricia Welcome)

Professor Max Hilaire, a renowned international scholar, author, and lecturer, will lead an engaging discussion at the Seven Flags Museum on Company St. in downtown Christiansted on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Hilaire was born on the island of Dominica and grew up on St. Thomas. By the time he graduated from high school, he was pretty well-read and interested in international affairs. Hilaire was reading the NY Times and other international newspapers at the library. When he studied at CVI [College of the Virgin Islands]. He took courses with Arnold Highfield and Tom Reeves.

Highfield whet Hilaire’s appetite for Caribbean history and they enjoyed a good relationship. Reeves had a strong influence on him with his focus on political theory and Black philosophers who were not in the mainstream political science textbooks. Hilaire was exposed to Stokely Carmichael, Marcus Garvey, and Dr. King. 

Hilaire’s studies took him straight from undergraduate to Columbia University in New York where he earned an M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D in International Law and International Relations.

Hilaire lived in New York for 20 years, working between NGOs [non-governmental organizations] offices, with the United Nations focused on the activities with the UN, and teaching at Marymount College, all while working on his dissertation.

He worked in Mexico teaching international law and international organizations for a few months and returned to New York to teach at Colgate University for six years. Hilaire’s busy life took him to Nigeria on a Fulbright Program for a year, and he lectured for the State Department at a number of universities in the country.

Hilaire has traveled the world teaching, lecturing, and writing. The ardent areas in his life are human rights, humanitarian law, U.S. foreign relations law and UN law. They are the key concentrations in his publications in the last five to six years.

“I did a book signing on St. Thomas several years ago. When I return home to St. Thomas, I am in seclusion. I want to relax and keep a low profile,” Hilaire shared.

Hilaire looks forward to the book signing and lecture this Friday on St.Croix. “I lived on St. Croix for two years before going off to college. The island is very dear to me and holds an enormous significance in my life.”

“International Law and Contemporary Global Challenges” is Hilaire’s most recent book published in February of this year. His presentation will engage the attendees in a discussion on current global issues of mass migration, climate change, and war. The book will be available for purchase and his 2021 and 2022 publications will be on display and can be ordered and shipped.  

Hilaire’s current book is a tribute to the former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel. “I was very much influenced by his human rights connection. Havel’s political philosophy was one of anti-consumerism, humanitarianism, environmentalism, civil activism, and direct democracy,” he said.  

“That is what got me to the Czech Republic initially and I have been teaching there for the past 22 years,” Hilaire said.

“I would like my work to really help to improve the human condition for all people regardless of who they are, where they are, and where they live. Some of my work is reimagining how we manage some of the problems confronting humanity. It certainly cannot be done the way this world is organized by states. Whether it’s pandemics or climate change, or poverty or mass migration, these issues cannot be solved by any one country. So, we really need a new paradigm on how we approach these issues,” Hilaire shared.

“Whether you live in China, the United States, Russia, Grenada, or the Virgin Islands, it is not your nationality or your identity that is going to solve these issues that are confronting us and future generations,” Hilaire noted. 

Hilaire is looking at how we can reconfigure the world – whether to improve on the UN or create new institutions that are democratic and that are transparent. He said, “There cannot be one group of people imposing their ideas on the rest of the world as what happened 500 years ago.”

“It has to be a more inclusive, more democratic approach in addressing problems that have no boundaries, and that do not see race or nationality, religion, ethnicity or other forms of identity,” Hilaire added.

The Source asked if he thought this could be accomplished. Hilaire replied, “It may not be in my lifetime or your lifetime, but if the people who negotiated the creation of the UN or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – if we just sat back and said it’s not going to happen and not think about it – it would never have happened. Africa would still be under colonial rule. Racism would still be more systematic than it is now. So, it is the individuals who have to challenge the status quo to change it.”

“In international law, things do not change very easily. We need to really think about it – be very futuristic, and also be very optimistic. We have to focus on the children and the world we want to leave for them -– hopefully, a better world than we inherited.” Hillaire concluded. 

Hilaire has lectured at over fifty universities and has taught students in over one hundred countries. He is a distinguished lecturer and mentor and enjoys working with people of different cultural backgrounds and nationalities.

Seven Flags Museum on Company St. in downtown Christiansted will host A Book Affair with Professor Max Hilaire on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

For more information:
Seven Flags Museum: 340-277-2870


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