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Freedom as Marronage$
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Neil Roberts

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226127460

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226201184.001.0001

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Marronage between Past and Future

Marronage between Past and Future

(p.141) Five Marronage between Past and Future
Freedom as Marronage

Neil Roberts

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Édouard Glissant’s thought within the wider discourses on creolization and creolizing political theory. It also marks a shift in the book to describing marronage’s relevance for late modernity. The chapter provides a philosophical reading of two Glissant texts (one novel, one essay collection) from his early and middle period that engage historical and imaginative forms of marronage. By exploring types of marronage in these works Glissant develops original concepts framing what the chapter contends is Glissant’s four-stage blueprint for sociogenic marronage: 1) rearticulating a philosophy of history, 2) retour (reversion/return) and détour (diversion/detour), 3) resistance, and 4) Antillanité (Caribbeanness). The chapter subsequently explores Glissant’s use of the rhizome idea and how lines of flight explain modes of marronage as an economy of survival, state of being, and condition of becoming, whether through fleeting fugitive acts, attempts at liberation, or the constitution of freedom. The implications of Glissant’s conception of marronage for contemporary debates over France’s commemoration of abolition, the Arab Spring, and relation between mainland France and French overseas départements including Martinique are addressed. The ending briefly discusses immigration politics and the figure of the refugee-immigrant as a late modern maroon.

Keywords:   becoming, creolization, freedom, Édouard Glissant, late modernity, marronage, philosophy of history, refugee, resistance, slavery

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