What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful. What is the opposite of freedom? In Freedom as Marronage, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he. PDF | A book review of Neil Roberts, Freedom as Marronage (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, ).

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Roberts destabilizes the dichotomy between freedom and un-freedom that dreedom central to conceptions of negative and positive liberty in Western political thought, and shows how the impulse to flight has been a central feature of the politics of the enslaved, thereby frwedom us to the figure of the fugitive. Rather, it is a detailed and nuanced exploration of the kinds of marrnoage from slavery, their nature, and their limits.

The term comes from Frantz Fanon, for whom, Roberts explains, it referred to an approach to the study of social life that attended to both subjective and marronage acts by situated beings who bring specific social orders into the world.

Roberts works through Hannah Arendt, Phillip Petit, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Frederick Douglass in a debate over such topics as the impact of racialized slavery on conceptions of freedom to problems with the dialectics of recognition as the basis of securing freedom and dignity for the self. Despite the pervasive use of slavery as a metaphor for unfreedom, it is striking how much modern experiences of enslavement and slave agency are absent from analyses of freedom in political theory.

This raises a broader question about in these societies requires new conceptual tools that are drawn whether sovereignty and marronage are mutually exclusive from their historical and contemporary predicaments. What does it mean to theorize freedom from the perspective of the enslaved?

Project MUSE – Theorizing Slave Agency: Neil Roberts’s Freedom as Marronage

Skip to main content. Roberts’ thorough investigation into the psychological aspects of marronage is revelatory and brings the discussion beyond the dialectic of slavery and freedom to explore the wider meaning of “unfreedom.


Examining this overlooked phenomenon—one of action from slavery and toward freedom—he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals. If were are to rethink freedom through and as marronage, it cannot be restricted to a one-sided celebration of agency and flight. The result freecom a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite.

Freedom as Marronage should provoke sa discussion in black studies, political theory, history, and postcolonial studies. Most immediately, it does not.

Mohammad Mia rated it really liked it Nov 16, Slave Theorists of Frefdom. As he shows, thinking through the legacies of enslavement and the flight from it is essential to understanding freedom in a postcolonial, post-apartheid, post-civil rights moment.

If we bracket the historical examples and focus on these interesting conceptual claims, there arises a different set of questions.

For this he turns to the Haitian Revolution.

Tai Gomez rated it really liked it Sep 28, University of Chicago Press: University Press of Florida. Incorporating the writing of Hannah Arendt, W. Publications Pages Publications Pages. In fact, the scholarship on palenques and quilombos in Latin America suggests that the existence of maroon communities of fugitive slaves acted as incentives for better treatment of those who remained enslaved in order to prevent further flights.

What Color Is the Sacred? Much of this scholarship, under the rubric of Afro-pessimism, has focused on continued forms of black subjection.

It makes transparent a central insight on the human condition often ignored or disavowed by philosophers and political theorists by examining a specific, highly overlooked form of flight from slavery, marronage, that was fundamental to Caribbean and Latin American slave systems and has widespread application to European, New World, and black diasporic societies.

Marronage refers to the sociogenic marronagw capture the maroon legacies of communities of former slaves freeddom fugitives that existed at the revolution.

Freedom as Marronage

But these are not the same as affirming marronage as a normative political ideal. Yet, as Roberts convincingly shows, modern political thinkers tend to analyze the concept using the freedoms of the powerful and the privileged to inform their conceptual frames. Marronaage Freedom as MarronageNeil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: Such practices may indeed have derived from maroon precedents. That triumph coincided with theocratic societal decadence, the doctrine of heresy, the transformation of mass slavery into the political language of serfdom, and the introduction of the root word Slav to refer to serfs across Europe.


My library Help Advanced Book Search. The dynamic and ae character of this mode of becoming is inseparable from the precarity that has always defined the maroon situation. It is another to treat marronage as an analytic concept that can illuminate a range of historical situations and help us to think more deeply about freedom as a problem that must be thought in relation to entanglement, interdependence, precarity, complicity, and compromise.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Refresh and try again. Freedom as Marronage Neil Roberts No preview available – Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today.

Freedom as Marronage by Neil Roberts

University of Chicago PressFeb 11, – History – pages. Her forthcoming book from Oxford in is an intellectual genealogy of racial thought in the Americas that juxtaposes four prominent US African-American and Latin American thinkers: More hopefully, we might reconsider recent experiments in autonomous democracy without state sovereignty in places such as Mondragon, Chiapas, Buenos Aires, and Rojave, as examples of late-modern marronage.

Facing Racial Revolution Jeremy D. Being burned at the stake was a consequence.