[Week 13 Colloquium] Imaginative Returns of the Spirit: Marronage as Black Atlantic Psychology
While her tripartite investigation of marronage consists of its geographic (West Indian maroon camps), cultural (Afro- or Indo-Caribbean retentions), and imaginative valences, the imaginative aspect most directly aligns with a theorization of the Black Atlantic. This imaginative marronage – not false or unreal but rather psychic, spiritual, narrative, and historiographic – plays with and collapses notions of past and present to engage with the complex revisionary bridge of the phantom limb of the Middle Passage to relocate or regenerate the continuity of the African homeland. This continuity in the midst of rupture embraces disorienting paradox, bespeaking the violence of history, through reorientation that refigures the Middle Passage as a two-way crossing across the (Black) Atlantic.
Pulling from theorists like Kamau Brathwaite and NourbeSe, Florius uses this conceptualization of marronage to read West Indian literature broadly and Dennis Scott, Ramabai Espinet, and Marlon James specifically through discourses surrounding ancestry, landscape, and the kinopoetics of the literary body. While rooted in history and theory, she extrapolates to the postcolonial moment techniques of marronage in the wake of neocolonial intervention – resonating with the work of Paul Gilroy.
Digitally mapping geographic maroon spaces would thus serve as a technology of depicting the historical and spiritual maroon psyche and perhaps convey the colonial overlap with the contemporary neocolonial era.