Text Network: Genre and Geography

The two digital maps in The Makandal Network make this transition visible. The first map locates the primary and secondary sources featuring Makandal by place of publication. There are two different layers that the user can toggle between: the first classifies these texts as primary and secondary while the second sorts by data or genre type including novel, letters, advertisement, legal report, pantomime, and periodical. For each text the user can see relevant metadata including place of publication, author, title, and repository. Visually, this map shows geographical clusters in England, France, Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. Upon closer examination, however, it also visualizes the main points to our exhibit: primary sources on Makandal were largely contained to the Caribbean and places visited by  Lenormand de Mézy. However, the majority of the texts in this network are outside of the Caribbean. These texts vary by genre but are all considered secondary sources, pointing to the ways Makandal’s narrative becomes known through spectatorship and commodification. This point is mirrored in the second map, a geographic visualization of the translations of “Account.” All of the translations and reprintings of this periodical over almost sixty years were in colonial countries, a visual record of how Makandal was a figure of fascination.