Maroons and World History

In a general sense, the purpose of the conference is to engage with marronage as an empirical case and as an occasion for thought. We are especially interested in aspects of marronage that resist explanation when maroon communities are seen as a creole amalgam of recognizable ethnographic elements retained or recombined. What historiographical, cartographical, or philosophical approaches are best suited to thinking world history from the perspective of the maroon? What assumptions obstruct this focalization? We intend to address these questions both as problems of practical knowledge conceived at a range of scales and as a theoretical problem of orientation. What would it mean to identify the maroon as the subject of history? What happens when we imagine neither the factory nor the plantation but the instead the unenclosed wasteland as the setting for the development of political consciousness? Our plan then is to look to specific examples, from Saint Malo to Queen Nanny, Palmares to the Great Dismal Swamp, pressing on their implications for our thinking about sovereignty and self-organization; outlawry and escape; crime and custom; kinship and ethnogenesis; knowledge, conspiracy, and the paranoid style; treaty, fetish, and sacred oath; settlement, subsistence, and so-called secondary primitivism.

more info:

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 8:00am
Townsend Center