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Mappare la rete testuale Makandal

François Makandal d. 1758, who was an African enslaved on a sugarcane plantation in pre-revolutionary Haiti, was known as a healer who had knowledge of herbal medicine that European scientists could not explain. The fetishes he made, called makwanda, were the source of his powerful medicine as well as his name. After losing his arm to the sugar mill’s running cylinders designed for extraction of the juice from cane, he became a maroon and led a long-term campaign of resistance against the plantocracy by using his knowledge of plants to poison and terrify the colony. He was captured and executed in 1758, but news of the events was reproduced in the letters of planters and scientific treatises as well as plays and novels. This article gives an account of the process and theory behind creating a digital exhibit meant to illustrate this effect, The Makandal Text Network. Developed through collaborative scholarship with the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, the attempt to decolonize Makandal from the epistemological suspicion through which Enlightenment science frames non-European knowledge ways. Makandal was an active agent of counter-colonial knowledge production and his story is embedded within the great and brutal engine of scientific knowledge production that French agronomy monetized on the same soil. Our article suggests ways that digital scholarship, with West Central African knowledge culture as an integrating subject and presence across archives, contributes to interdisciplinary interest in the relationship of the early Caribbean to American studies.

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Kate Simpkins
Laura Johnson
titolo rivista di riferimento: 
Il teatro contemporaneo negli Stati Uniti
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