Practices of Freedom:
Marronage in the Caribbean

Friday, April 2, 2021

Kay spiritual

Kay spirituel - a Vodou temple in Pont-Sonde, Haiti (Photo by V. Joos, 2013)

As soon as the European colonization of the Americas began, resistance to it shaped the social, economic, and geographical landscape of the Caribbean. People who escaped slavery forged counter-colonial systems based on self-sufficiency, autonomy, and reciprocity that allowed them to live, think, believe, and imagine on their own terms.

This series of interventions highlights the practice of marronage/mawonnaj across a broad timeframe - from the 1760s to the 1930s - to understand how formerly enslaved people built counter-colonial systems, robust with counter-epistemologies and counter-cosmologies, that endure to this day. Dr. Wood and Dr. Roberts will present new research on Charlotte Dugée, a free woman of color and botanical illustrator who absconded with an enslaved woman from a French scientific expedition in Guyane in the 1760s. Dr. Gonzalez, author of the 2019 book Maroon Nation will discuss his argument about the ‘maroon’ character of Haiti’s early history. Dr. Cadeau will talk about the maroon-like survival strategies that emerged during the 1937 genocide in the Dominican Republic and its aftermath. In this presentation, she explores disturbing twentieth-century echoes of colonial Caribbean history.

The Winthrop King Institute for Contemporary French and Francophone Studies invites you to this one-day virtual event comprised of multiple elements. Since we cannot come together during this global pandemic, we decided to assemble an assortment of resources to enhance and contextualize the live events on April 2nd, 2021. Be sure to check the event website prior to the live sessions.