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A Canada In The South: Marronage In Antebellum American Literature, Sean Gerrity Feb 2017

A Canada In The South: Marronage In Antebellum American Literature, Sean Gerrity

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This dissertation considers maroons—enslaved people who fled from slavery and self-exiled to places like swamps and forests—in the textual and historical worlds of the pre-Civil War United States. I examine a counter-archive of US literature that imagines marronage as offering alternate spaces of freedom, refuge, and autonomy outside the unidirectional South-to-North geographical trajectory of the Underground Railroad, which has often framed the story of freedom and unfreedom for African Americans in pre-1865 US literary and cultural studies. Broadly, I argue that through maroons we can locate alternate spaces of fugitive freedom within slaveholding territory, thereby complicating fixed notions ...