Makandal Text Network

Makandal’s story spans not only time and geography, but literary and historic genres. To display and explore these important transliterary, transcultural, and transatlantic relationships, this exhibit utilizes Susan Gilman and Kirsten Silva Gruesz’s concept of the “text-network" (229). In developing this idea, they note the problems of conceptualizing spatial relationships with only geography and political boundaries, instead encouraging scholars to start from “edges and peripheries" (229). Gruez and Gillman offer another way of conceptualizing texts according to a network: “thinking dialectically and translationally about the movements of texts across space, time, and language, such a worlded analysis would map out a network of crosshatched, multidirectional influences rather than drawing one-way or even two-way lines" (230).

This concept is incredibly useful when understanding the complex relationships of time, space, and language that compiles Makandal’s story that includes historic documents like letters and judicial reports, periodicals printed in a variety of languages, pantomime, naturalist narratives, historic and contemporary novels. What are the ways in which reimagining these texts as a network will reveal the influence of colonial powers? What is the relationship between publishing, Makandal’s story, and colonial history? What is the geographic and temporal relationship between these texts and amongst genres? How can we, following the ECDA’s work of remix and reassembly, decolonize Makandal’s narrative? In addition, what digital tools, focal points, or methodologies allow us to do this work?

Works Cited

Bourgeois, Nicolas Louis, P. J. B. Nougaret, and Nougaret, Voyages Intéressans Dans Différentes Colonies Françaises, Espagnoles, Anglaises, &c: Contenant Des Observations Importantes Relatives à Ces Contrées; & Un Mémoire Sur Lesmaladies Les plus Communes à Saint-Domingue, Leurs Remèdes, & Le Moyen de s’en Préserver Moralement & Phisiquement: Avec Des Anecdotes Singulières, Qui n’avaient Jamais Été Publiées (A Londres ; et se trouve à Paris: ches J. F. Bastien, 1788). 

Diouf, Sylviane A. Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, 15th Anniversary Edition. NYU Press, 2013.

Fick, Carolyn E. The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below. Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1990.

Geggus, David. Haitian Revolutionary Studies. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011). 

___. David Patrick. Haitian Voodoo in the Eighteenth Century: Language, Culture, Resistance. Böhlau Verlag, 1991.

Hall, Michael R. Historical Dictionary of Haiti. Scarecrow Press, 2012.

James, Cyril Lionel Robert. The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. Vintage Books, 2nd edition, 1989.

Laguerre, Michel S. Afro-Caribbean Folk Medicine. Bergin & Garvey, 1987.

“Macandale, chef des noirs révoltés, arrêt de condamnation par le Conseil supérieur du Cap-Français à Saint-Domingue (1758),” January 20, 1758. Secrétariat d’État à la Marine - Personnel colonial ancien. Archives Nationales d’Outre Mer. http://anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/ark:/61561/up424uoqnsvb.num=20.q=macandale.

Mobley, Christina Frances. “The Kongolese Atlantic: Central African Slavery & Culture from Mayombe to Haiti” (Duke University, 2015)

Moreau de Saint-Méry, M. L. E. Description Topographique, Physique, Civile, Politique et Historique de La Partie Francaise de l’isle Saint-Domingue. Avec Des Observations Généales Sur Sa Population, Sur Le Caractère & Les Moeurs de Ses Divers Habitans; Sur Son Climat, Sa Culture, Ses Productions, Sonadministration, &c. &c. Accompagnées Des Détails Les plus Propres à Faire Connaître l’état de Cette Colonie à l’époque Du 18 Octobre 1789; et d’une Nouvelle Carte de Latotalité de l’isle. Par M.L.E. Moreau de Saint-Méry. Tome Premier[-Second]. Comprenant, Outre Les Objets Généraux, La Description Des Vingt & Une Paroisses de La Partie Du Nord & de l’Isle La Tortue. [One Line of Quotation] (A Philadelphie: Et s’y trouve chez l’auteur, au coin de Front & de Callow-Hill Streets. A Paris, chez Dupont, libraire, rue de la Loi. Et à Hambourg, chex les principaux libraires, 1797).

Ramsey, Kate. The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti. University of Chicago Press, 2014

Reinhardt, Catherine A. Claims to Memory: Beyond Slavery and Emancipation in the French Caribbean (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006).