The Morphology of Marronage

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Abstract

A number of texts have addressed desires for and iterations of freedom throughout the Black diaspora. Although conceptualizations of freedom are often employed and interrogated in critical scholarship, less attention is given to the landscapes onto which politics are performed. This article draws from scholarship in Black and Ethnic Studies along with Geography to argue that the ability of select fugitive groups to obtain forms of spatial autonomy is reliant on their ability to seek, find, and settle within difficult and seemingly uninhabitable landscapes. Using marronage as a conceptual tool, I posit that quests for freedom through fugitivity have often relied on the topographic and geomorphologic traits of natural environments. To illustrate marronage as a landscape of political possibility, I close with examples from the United States, Mexico, and Vietnam to demonstrate how across time and space, devalued landscapes have serviced subterfuge and provided sustenance for long-suffering communities. Key Words: geomorphology, landscape, marronage, uneven geographical development, value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1149
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Volume110
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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